New Scotland Yard, London

Curved vertical blinds for Met Police new HQ

Waverley manufactured and installed vertical blinds with an intricate fixing detail to enable shading to be provided to the new curved glass entrance pavilion of New Scotland Yard, the £85 million new headquarters for the Metropolitan Police. The new reception area had been designed without blinds as the architect thought they would not be required. However, low winter sun caused glare problems for staff and Waverley were called to advise on the best solution.

Because the blinds were an afterthought, installation was tricky. The decorative timber strip ceiling detail was not strong enough to take the weight of the blinds and removing it adjacent to the windows to fix to the concrete substrate above was not an option. The only suitable fixing points were at each end using the window mullions. To add to the complication some of the windows were curved to follow the shape of the building.

Roller blinds were discounted because they would impinge on the ‘straight through’ look of the soffit and would not have worked on the curved windows.

After two meetings with the architect to brainstorm ideas and a meeting on site with the FM company, ShadeTech® VLB-C chain operated vertical louvre blinds were selected with BetaScreen® 90 fabric to allow filtered natural daylight into the reception area and maintain a view of the outside.

To overcome the support issues the headrails were fixed to an aluminium channel which in turn was fixed to the mullions each end using end brackets. On the curved windows, card templates were made and the channel and the blind headrail were bespoke bent to match the shape of the window. The main strain is on the end brackets but one or two central stabilising hanger rods are fixed between the ceiling slats to the main ceiling substrate above.

The blind hardware was powder coated black to make it ‘disappear’ when looking at top of window. The blind headrails also needed to be as tight as possible to soffit to prevent glare passing over the top of the blinds when the sun was at that angle.

The building was fully operational which meant that all measuring and installation had to be carried out after hours.

The end result is an excellent shading solution that blends in seamlessly with the interior.

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