The prestigious Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) instructed Aztec to create a new performance space and enclose the existing outdoor courtyard using a large, structurally glazed roof light.
The rooflight was created using the Pilkington Planar™ structural glazing system, employing a series of four toughened and laminated glass fins to transfer the weight of the glass to the surrounding structures.
This avoided the need to use any steel elements in order to deliver maximum light transmission and clarity, and also to complement the aesthetics of the wider building.
Architect Maggie Mullan explained how the glazing system helped achieve the design vision for the space. She said: “LIPA is a cherished place, and one with a complicated construction history going back to the creation of the original school building in 1837. One of the key challenges for us was to respect the architectural history and coherence of the campus while also creating a new space with its own identity.
“To inform the decisions made in this project, we worked closely with the client to establish a design code, based on a detailed understanding of the many complex layers of the building, that would allow our intervention to coalesce and unite its existing features.
“The effect of the rooflight is to transform what was previously a linking outdoor area into a flexible, beautiful space that the institute will be able to use for a host of different purposes for years to come.
“The Pilkington Planar™ system with its inobtrusive countersunk flush stainless steel point fixings, along with the structural glass fins, allowed us to achieve our aims with minimal aesthetic impact on the much-loved character of the existing building.”