New Scotland Yard, London

Curved vertical blinds for Met Police new HQ

The New Scotland Yard pavilion with its striking curved glass cladding provides a welcoming entrance to the Metropolitan Police Headquarters on the Embankment, with panoramic views over the River Thames. Despite the prominent Plane Trees and overhanging eaves, Waverley were contacted to advise on a solution for glare control for early morning winter sun, which was creating some glare for the x-ray machine and reception.

The solution was manufactured and installed vertical blinds with a bespoke and intricate fixing detail to the curved timber ceiling cladding. Waverley had successfully provided blinds throughout the main building and the architects were keen to use them for this specific element.

Installation was tricky. Waverley were not able to load the curved timber slats and demounting it adjacent to the windows to fix to the concrete slab above was not an option. The only suitable fixing points were at each end using the glazing mullions.

During design workshops with AHMM and meeting on site with the FM company, various blinds were considered.  Roller blinds were discounted because they would not satisfactorily suit the curved glass bays. 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.  These could be stowed neatly against the mullions when not required.

To overcome the support issues the headrails were fixed to an aluminium channel spanning the mullions with end discreet brackets. On the curved glazing, card templates were made, so the channel and blind headrail could be curved to match the shape of the glazing. The main load is on the end brackets, but a central stabilising hanger rod was fixed between the ceiling slats to the main ceiling substrate above.

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

The blind hardware was powder coated black to compliment the bronze mullions. Blind headrails needed to be as tight as possible to soffit to prevent glare passing over the top of the blinds when the sun was at a low angle.  The result is an excellent shading solution that blends in seamlessly with the interior finishes.

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