Barclays, Canary Wharf

Clever use of sheer curtains conceals unsightly riser cupboards in Canary Wharf offices

ISG were commissioned to carry out Cat B fit-out works for Barclays on Floor 22 on Canada House, Canary Wharf. As well as manufacturing and installing roller blinds to the interior windows, Waverley were approached by ISG with an urgent request to help conceal a series of riser cupboards.

Following the client’s eleventh-hour request for a ‘textured finish’ to the riser cupboard facade, ISG’s design team created an undulating curved bulkhead and glass floor-to-ceiling partition. They requested a curtain track and curtain to follow this contour and gave Waverley just 3 weeks to manufacture and install four runs of curtain track, each spanning 27m and containing at least 10 bends.

The challenge of concealing unsightly services is common throughout the office fit-out industry. As landlords and tenants strive constantly to use inspiring workplaces as a means to retain and attract top talent, the pressure on office fit out companies to create imaginative and visually stunning interiors increases. Using soft furnishings to provide a contrast to smooth, hard surfaces is becoming increasingly popular.

Fit-out companies rely heavily on their sub-contractors ability to react quickly to client’s requests. Waverley’s ability to survey, fabricate and install curtain tracks and curtains inside a 3-week time-frame was essential for ISG to maintain a good working relationship with their client.

Waverley used the Silent Gliss 3840 Wave curtain track. Wave curtains create a uniform and visually stunning fold in the curtains. The client selected a sheer fabric and ISG’s design included a series of floor-to-ceiling vertical LED strip lights installed behind the curtain.

The use of curtains to obscure unsightly cupboards and services has a number of advantages. As well as providing a welcome contrast in aesthetics and texture, curtains help improve acoustics and are relatively quick, inexpensive and unobtrusive to install. The uniform pleat created by the Silent Gliss Wave curtain system creates a warmth and depth to interior design without looking scruffy or out of place in a corporate environment.

Measuring for the curved curtain tracks included producing a card template of each 27m long track. This was carried out by two of Waverley’s trained surveyors. These templates were used to ensure the curtain tracks were bent to the exact shape of the bulkhead. The tracks were manufactured in sections and connected with internal joiners on site. Installation of the tracks took two days. The curtains were manufactured and hung just before project completion to ensure they were kept in pristine condition.

The uniform ‘wave’ effect of the partially translucent sheer curtains is accentuated by shadows from the LED lighting to create a visually stunning centrepiece to the finished office interior.

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