50 Finsbury Square | The Plan
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50 Finsbury Square

Foster and Partners

50 Finsbury Square is an excellent example of a building with an exposed primary structure and partially concealed curtain walling. The natural-limestone clad primary structure is connected to the internal beams and slabs by means of projecting concrete and stone clad steel beams.
Horizontal stone transoms spanning the columns have been placed in front of the curtain walling. They have been set so as to allow perfect visibility from inside the building while ensuring privacy and good solar control. This, combined with the high performance glazing means there is no need for additional internal shading devices.  
A key specification was that the main curtain walling be designed to allow replacement of elevation glass from inside the building, since external access is difficult on account of the external stone screen. The solution developed was a factory-assembled frame of two glazing panels 1500 mm wide and 3200/4200 high. The glazing can be replaced from inside thanks to the frame designed with a removable intermediate mullion. The full height double glazed units are bonded with structural silicone to an aluminium carrier frame which is then fitted into the main mullion and transom grid.
The atrium faces east and is not visible from outside the building. It is elliptical in section and trapezoidal on plan. Externally the atrium is in part flanked by the factory-assembled transparent glazed curtain walling, and in part by the aluminium cladding. Internally each floor has vertical curtain walling, glazed with frameless monolithic 15 mm toughened glass to shield occupants from the enormous space below. The atrium is supported by a steel structure composed of  pre-cambered horizontal circular steel trusses connected to the slabs, and rectangular-section curved mullions connected to the circular trusses by stainless steel pins. Above the curved steel structure, the aluminium curtain walling is joined by means of satin stainless steel brackets. The glazed...

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