Kikukawa bronze line the smooth curvatures of the facade
Bronze corrugated louvres and fins
The bronze corrugated louvres and the diamond shaped fins
■The Smooth Curvature of the Façade
The two buildings that comprise Bloomberg London is united by bridges that span over a pedestrian arcade, a reinstatement of an Ancient Roman Road called ‘Watling Street’ that once ran through the site.
The building façade draws a curvature reminiscent of a river; a curvature traced by the bronze fins that shade the floor-to-ceiling glazing. The crafted bronze panels are uniquely shaped to implement this curvature, each varying in scale and pitch.
The bronze panels installed horizontally required (dual) curving: a combination of Kikukawa’s metal craftsmanship and technology such as fibre-laser welding and stretch forming.
■Lining the Arcade with Bronze
‘Nose fins’ are bronze panels shaped like eaves that line the first floor of Bloomberg London. There are roughly 300 units of these bronze panels, which are all uniquely shaped due to the smooth curvatures of the façade. Thus each detail of the panel was designed carefully with consideration to fabrication precision, quality, and installation efficiency – from the sulfurization of the tip of the bronze panels to the angles of the joints.
The same could be said of the bronze eaves panels that line the top exterior of the second floor. Kikukawa devised a methodology to fabricate the rising of these curved panels without welding; optimizing lead time and ensuring the quality of the products. This was especially useful as many of these bronze panels required details that would successfully integrate other systems such as the acrylic fins or lighting fixtures.
■Corrugated, Curved, and Perforated Louvres
The corrugated, curved, and perforated louvres cover the exterior wall of the low-rise section. The metal sheets are perforated mechanically, pressed to create the corrugated form in 50mm pitch, and bent by stretch forming to create the curvatures. The circular perforations on these corrugated louvres are limited to the protruding areas and are perfectly in line vertically, as required by the project.
During the mock-up phase, meeting these requirements was a challenge as the circular perforations or the shape of the corrugations were disrupted by the stretch forming process. By understanding and overcoming each difficulty with our expertise, Kikukawa was able to ensure the precision of our metal craftsmanship.
These bronze louvres are another example of bronze panels that were fabricated without welding, thereby optimizing lead time and ensuring the quality of the bronze products.
■Bending For Integration
The requirements of the diamond bronze fins that stand vertically in front of the corrugated, curved, and perforated bronze louvers were to be fabricated from single sheet metal. Typically, bronze fins of this shape and size (130mm by 350mm) would be welded on two ends. However, Kikukawa bent three corners and welded the last to meet the standards of the project. The only welded corner is installed next to the louvres, hidden from the eyes of the Arcade passengers.
This reduction of welding in one corner ensured the quality of the product and optimized the fabrication lead time.
■Considering the Installation Efficiency
Other bronze panels surrounding the low-rise section of Bloomberg London include the fittings of the doors, wall panels, interior eaves that mirror the exterior eaves, cover panels and fins that add accents to the glass walls. Installation efficiency of each bronze panel has been considered by our detailed designers, who have taken note of the European substructure systems. Thus our bronze panels are a collection of Kikukawa’s technology and craftsmanship in shape, functionality, and quality.
To find out more about Kikukawa’s involvement with Bloomberg London (internal link)
–The Bloomberg European Headquarters
–The Exterior Fins of Bloomberg London
–The Hypotrochoid Ramp at Bloomberg London
|Arcade Bronze Panels||Bronze||HL+FURUMI (sulfurized) finish
Fiber laser welding
|Project||Bloomberg London, Arcade|
|Abbreviated Name||Bloomberg’s European headquarters|
|Architect||Foster + Partners|
|Contractor||Main Contractor：Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd. |
Facade Contractor：Josef Gartner