A diamond made of glass and steel is how the complex of buildings with its enormous folded plate roofs showcases Baker Street today.

2,200sqm

total glazed surface

152t

steel structure for the main entrance masks

baker street

Make Architects’ renovation of a group of 1950s buildings on Baker Street in London was a huge success. A diamond made of glass and steel is how the complex of buildings showcases Baker Street today. The offices and commercial spaces were completely gutted and renovated, and are now connected by three light-drenched atriums, forming one of the most attractive new architecture projects in England. Three complex modulated glass façades (“masks”) lend a new face to the street, with the most spectacular feature right in the centre.

An enormous folded plate roof, comprising three triangles and a trapezium sloping towards the street, floats weightlessly 17m above a 400sqm atrium. A steel band stretches diagonally across the surfaces of the three triangles, joining them together into a load-bearing structure that rests motionless on the existing building via hinged columns. The secondary structure divides the large triangular panels into further triangles, with a slender steel cross-section of 100mm x 50mm. This is made possible by trussing the panels.

  • Four pressure struts in the form of a pyramid are stretched against four nodes in the grid from below, considerably reducing the bending stress on the individual beams. The glazing rests on sealing strips, secured mechanically by a plate from the top and sealed with filling rope and silicon jointing. The entire steel structure is welded. The triangular fields were delivered pre-finished in “ladders”, adjusted on scaffolding with temporary supports, and then tacked and welded after final measurement.

    The scaled glass façade connected to the front of the building is a global first. The construction of this elaborate geometry was made possible by designing all the components and units entirely in 3D. The four diamond-shaped glass panels come together in at a node. The panels sitting next to each other form the middle level, while the other two fit into the node from the inside and outside. Invisible, but no less spectacular are the two “façade wings” that are suspended with their sides on the adjacent corners of the building, absorbing the movements of the building.

    Reference overview and Header image: © seele / Matthias Reithmeier

  • Façade specialist seele manufactured three complex modulated glass façades in the 55 Baker Street.
  • The glazing for the buildings in 55 Baker Street was delivered pre-finished.
  • The four diamond-shaped glass panels come together in a node system what is a global first.
  • The enormous folded plate roof, made by seele, comprising three triangles and a trapezium, floats weightlessly 17m above the atrium.
  • The secondary structure from seele divides the large triangular panels into further triangles.
  • The triangular fields are delivered prefinished in ladders, to simplify the assembly.
  • All in all 2,200sqm glazed surface was installed
Façade specialist seele manufactured three complex modulated glass façades in the 55 Baker Street.
© seele / Matthias Reithmeier
The glazing for the buildings in 55 Baker Street was delivered pre-finished.
© seele / Matthias Reithmeier
The four diamond-shaped glass panels come together in a node system what is a global first.
© seele / Matthias Reithmeier
The enormous folded plate roof, made by seele, comprising three triangles and a trapezium, floats weightlessly 17m above the atrium.
© seele / Matthias Reithmeier
The secondary structure from seele divides the large triangular panels into further triangles.
The triangular fields are delivered prefinished in ladders, to simplify the assembly.
All in all 2,200sqm glazed surface was installed

Credits

Client London & Regional Properties
Main contractor hgb Construction
Architect Make Architects
Engineer Expedition Engineering
Date of completion 2008
Scope of seele supply

Main Entrance Mask

  • 288 glass diamonds for the façade, 344 glass diamonds for the roof and 80 glass diamonds for the canopy
  • Steel structure: approx. 152t


Two Side Masks

  • 280 glass diamonds for each façade, 36 glass diamonds for the roof
  • Steel structure: approx. 63t per mask


Total glazed surface: approx. 2,200sqm

Awards
  • UK Aluminium in Renovation Awards 2009 Commendation – Cladding
  • London District Surveyors Association Building Excellence Awards 2009 
  • British Council for Offices Awards 2009 – Refurbished Recycled Workplace, London and South East Region
  • IStructE Structural Awards 2008 Commendation – David Alsop Sustainability Award
  • Structural Steel Design Awards 2008 Certificate of Merit
  • Concrete Society Awards 2008 – Sustainability