office façade


SCF façade

7.5 x 4.2m

SCF façade elements

space and transparency: principal place commercial, london

Situated between the City of London and the eclectic, creative and tech hub of Shoredtich, Principal Place Commercial is a new development that features 55,700sqm of Grade A office space over 15 storeys with typical floors of 4,181sqm and nearly 4,047sqm of roof terraces. Designed by Foster + Partners, the development will also include 1,858sqm of retail space and 2,023sqm public realm.

seele is responsible for the design, manufacturing and installation of the 28,000sqm building envelope. The floor plates are arranged around two atria, whilst the unitised façade appears extraordinarily lightweight and contrasts with the external, heavyweight load bearing structure. With its bead blasted, dark bronze anodised finish, the latter creates a visual reference to the historic Shoreditch landscape. In order to ensure a consistent appearance, special quality assurance measures were implemented which assure an uniform look for all surfaces throughout the development. 

  • The large glass panes (approx. 3m x 4m) on the main façade guarantee exciting views across London from Canary Wharf to St. Paul’s Cathedral. At the corners of the building seele has used even larger panes measuring 4m x 4m, thus allowing fascinating views in every direction.

Innovative aesthetics and functionality thanks to seele’s Self-Conditioning Façade

Foster + Partners defined the purist look of the unitised façade and seele implemented those aspirations without compromise, at the same time mastering the perfect integration of various façade functions. All this was made possible by the innovative Self-Conditioning Façade (SCF), which was developed by seele in 2014 and has since won international awards.

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    SCF is based on a multilayer façade element with a wider cavity. Static pressure compensation and preventing condensation in the cavity is achieved in this system without the need for power supplies or control gear. The “power” comes purely from the natural thermodynamic laws already in force. A continuous exchange of air takes place through natural ventilation at the base of each element and further openings near the top. In the Principal Place Commercial project the cavity is also wide enough to accommodate sunblinds. Large SCF elements measuring up to 7.5m x 4m are being fitted by seele on the topmost floor of the building.

    Images: © seele/René Müller

The installed SCF-elements on the top floor of Principal Place.
A vertical section through an SCF element shows how the sunblind is integrated into the cavity between the panes.
Performance testing on seele’s own testing grounds: assessing the performance of SCF elements for Principal Place Commercial by way of airtightness and pendulum impact tests. The elements are 7.5m high and up to 4.2m wide.
Every SCF element for Principal Place Commercial is preassembled by seele and shipped to the site in London by the logistics department according to a just-in-time schedule.
Thanks to spacious fabrication and stock areas, seele was able to produce the large format elements for the façade.
seele has set high quality standards which are always observed. Therefore, every element is tested for its specific requirements.
With dimensions of 7.5m x 4m the SCF-elements for the upper levels of Principal Place Commercial are the largest seele has yet installed.


Client Principal Place S.à.r.l (Brookfield)
Main contractor Multiplex Construction Europe Limited
Architect Foster + Partners
Date of completion 2017
Scope of seele supply
  • Unitised façades
    • 14,950sqm office façades
    • 1,450sqm SCF façades to top floor
    • 2,700sqm glazed staircase façade
  • Sheet metal cladding
    • 3,500sqm staircase walls
    • 650sqm floor soffits
    • 6,600sqm casing columns
  • 5,200sqm stick system atrium façades
  • 600sqm steel-and-glass atrium roofs
  • 2,200sqm aluminium stick system ground-floor façades