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Extension to London's Commonwealth Club Features Curved, Purple Box Made of Decorative Safety Glass with Custom Interlayer

Architects MoreySmith of London completed an expansion to London's Commonwealth Club in early 2006 comprising a new members' area and conference suite. The brief was to extend the existing club at 18 Northumberland Avenue into the adjoining premises at 25 Northumberland Avenue. Central to the design brief was the client's desire to create a dynamic, multi-cultural Commonwealth Centre in the heart of London, within a limited budget.

One of the first contemporary design features that Members see when they enter the lobby of the new premises is a deep purple, curved laminated glass box, which acts as a backdrop to the main reception, made using DuPont™ SentryGlas® Expressions™ technology. As a new, double-height reception space was created by the architects by removing the slab at first floor level at 25 Northumberland Avenue, the curved purple glass box rises through the space backing both the reception desk and the first floor mezzanine area.

"SentryGlas® Expressions™ technology was exceptionally useful in its ability to achieve a graded color change across the width of the box's frontal panel." Rob Robertson Creative Director Fusion Glass Designs London
MoreySmith architect Jennifer Wood said: "We had limited physical space to work with for; the 7 m- (23 ft-) high purple box is a useful design device for visually linking the space between the lobby and the mezzanine. It provides a continuous backdrop and has an interesting gradient color moving from dark purple on the right to lighter purple at the centre. Our brief for the extension was to create a contemporary space with reference to the original club (which MoreySmith completed in 1998) and to the new Commonwealth colors, but also introducing some softer colors for the more relaxed members' lounge and new conference spaces. This is achieved by the use of plummy, warm tones in the upholstery of the furnishings, along with dark timbers and bespoke lighting, as well as the very contemporary glass box made of SentryGlas® Expressions™ at the reception."

Fusion Glass Designs of London supplied the SentryGlas® Expressions™ decorative laminated glass for the purple box. Creative Director Rob Robertson said: "SentryGlas® Expressions™ technology was exceptionally useful in its ability to achieve a graded color change across the width of the box's frontal panel. The architects were very specific regarding the gradient color tones they wanted for the glass box. To achieve such accurate and high quality reproduction would have been extremely difficult using alternative decorative glass techniques.

"Each side of the light box consists of five panels, approximately 1.2 m- (3.9 ft.) wide x 3 m- (9.8 ft) high, curved to a slight radius. The SentryGlas® Expressions™ decorative laminated glass was made up of two layers of 6 mm (0.24 in) float glass plus the Butacite® PVB interlayer on which the pattern was printed; a total of 14 mm (0.55 in). When we received the digital image of the design from the architects, it was a quick and easy process to transfer the image on the PVB interlayer using SentryGlas® Expressions™ technology, resulting in high quality and accurate image reproduction."

"The extension project has been highly successful and the design successfully conveys contemporary Commonwealth values - modern, multicultural, internationalist and dynamic." Stuart Mole, Director-General Royal Commonwealth Society

Stuart Mole, Director-General of the Royal Commonwealth Society, commented: "The extension project has been highly successful and the design successfully conveys contemporary Commonwealth values - modern, multicultural, internationalist and dynamic."