Beautiful glass balcony balustrades, manufactured and installed by Sapphire, are ensuring perfectly clear views for residents at Eltham Springs, a new shared ownership housing scheme in south east London. Sapphire’s Crystal frameless structural glazing system, with no vertical support posts, creates a sleek and stylish surround for balconies to 49 apartments built by Willmot Dixon for London & Quadrant Housing Association.
London-based Frank Reynolds Architects (FRA) designed the residential development, which is set on the site of the former Eltham Baths. Glazed balcony balustrades were specified for the residential project for their visual appeal, to maintain simplicity, and to give an understated lightness to the modern, uncluttered facade. The Director of FRA who led the architectural design team comments: “We worked closely with Sapphire to achieve the desired aesthetic result for our client whilst also complying with the planning consent.” Sapphire’s Crystal glass balcony balustrades provided the perfect solution for balconies at Eltham in terms of both look and performance
The 40 tonnes of Crystal glass balustrades supplied by Sapphire for Eltham are installed in various panel configurations to suit small individual balconies and larger shared terrace structures. Fully compliant with relevant British Standards, Sapphire’s frameless glass solution features toughened laminate glass panels, which are supported by innovative base fix channel systems. The minimalist effect is completed by slim-line aluminium cappings with a powder-coated finish to match the window frames.
A combination of clear and etched glass was used for balustrades to balconies on Eltham’s south facing elevations for privacy and to support the façade configuration. Panels of 2.5m high obscured glass were also installed between balconies serving more than one apartment and to balconies overlooking neighbouring properties for privacy purposes.
Although balcony balustrades with glass infill panels are often perceived as a more expensive option than metal or timber, the aesthetic appeal of glass need not be beyond the budget of housing association schemes like Eltham, says Sapphire’s Nick Haughton. “By working with an experienced balustrade manufacturer like Sapphire, the use of glass in balustrading can be both a beautiful and cost effective design solution for many high rise residential projects at procurement stage and through ongoing use. Glass can’t rot or rust and simply needs cleaning rather than repainting at regular intervals.”