Hendon Quadrangle, London, UK

hendon quadrangle

A place for exchanging thoughts, for discussions  a welcoming new communications forum, atrium and meeting place for the students of Middlesex University Business School and the School of Computing Sciences, who come from 123 different nations, was built in three years under the direction of bpr Architects on the grounds of the Hendon University in London. The design combines the existing university buildings with an inconspicuous transparent structure. The roofing of the courtyard created a spectacular space out of glass and light: a delicate and highly transparent shell structure resting on four “tree supports”.

  • To clarify the construction: Four square pyramids are placed together on the surface of a square and their four peaks are then removed. The entire structure is then turned around and the pyramid stumps are placed on the four “tree supports” arranged symmetrically in the courtyard. The roof is “standing”. In the second step, the tree supports are lengthened with a pylon on top and steel rods spanned from there to the foot of the pyramids  the roof is “suspended”. This balance between suspension and standing is the static secret and serves as the basis for the streamlined dimensions of the individual components that make up the roof structure. Nevertheless, a total of 210t of steel and slightly more than 2,000sqm of insulated glass were used, making the weight of the roof quite substantial. And, despite being anchored to the four corners of the roof, it is still subject to a certain amount of movement. The windproof and weatherproof connection to the existing buildings thus represented an enormous challenge in the roof’s construction. The glass roof, which is placed on the eaves by means of hinged columns, is connected all the way around by 30cm high bellows seals, which move freely in all directions, but are tightly sealed.

    For this project, seele also created two surrounding galleries with glass balustrades, some of them curved, stairways, elevator glazing and glass floors.

2,000sqm glass 210t steel

Client Middlesex University
Architect BPR Architects Ltd., London
Structural planning Dewhurst Macfarlane & Partners
Date of completion 2005
Scope of seele supply
  • Roof steel structure and glazing, including primary support columns, storm water downpipes, 4 roof platforms, roof rafters, girders/trusses, spanning cables and smoke vents
  • Gallery: 1st and 2nd floor steelwork, including roof beams, hipped panelling together with concreting works, balustrades consisting of curved glass and glazed flooring of the 1st floor level
  • Spiral staircases, including primary steel structure
  • Lift, including steel supports with bracing and lift glazing

More educational institutions