English National Ballet

Client: Ballymore/ J&C Architectural
Architect: Glenn Howells Architects
Sector: Education
Contract Value: £1.7m
Location: London

Project Scope:

Aluminium Windows
Aluminium Curtain Wall
Aluminium Curtain Wall Rooflights
Steel Curtain Wall
Aluminium Doors


Steel Curtain Wall System – Jansen Viss 60
Ground Floor Curtain Wall – Schueco FWS 60+
Upper-level Schueco FWS60+ screens containing AWS114 Parallel Opening Bonded Vents
Glazed rooflights – Schueco FWS60+ SG
Bespoke Fabrications such as Rainscreen Panels with Integrated Perforated Sections
Schueco Glazed Doors

“I would like to thank the NACWL team for your performance on the facade works on the new home for the English National Ballet at London City Island. You demonstrated an excellent attitude and level of technical knowledge, whilst maintaining a professional and cooperative way of working. As a team, you have overcome all obstacles, successfully designing, manufacturing and installing a bespoke solution that was completed to a high standard and has met all of the Client’s expectations.”

Mark Mannerson
Project Director – Ballymore


NACWL were appointed to provide a design, supply and installation solution for the glazing scope to the new, purpose-built, English National Ballet school.


2020 AJ100 Building of the Year
2020 RIBA Regional Award
2020 AIA UK Design Award — Medium Project
2020 RICS Social Impact Awards — Education category winner
2020 Schueco Awards — Overall Winner
2020 Schueco Awards — Best Steel Building
2020 Dezeen Top 10 British projects of the year


Weighing 800kg each, the 33 full-height double glazed units on the ground floor were outside of Schueco’s cleat capacity. In a first for NACWL, we overcame this by utilising load-bearing, ground-based props provided by Armatherm. Crucially, the design of the props prevents a cold bridge from being created, ensuring that the thermal properties of the panes aren’t compromised.

To create a crisp, aesthetically pleasing appearance, each corner of the ground floor facade was required to be positioned glass-to-glass, i.e. without any visible framing on the vertical edge of the corner panes of glass. To achieve the desired result, we used Sika bonding to structurally bond the un-restrained vertical edges to concealed framing profiles.

Weighing 1 tonne each, the 22 full-height double glazed units on floors 1-3 were the largest we’ve ever worked with and required us to adapt our systems accordingly. Due to the relatively lightweight construction of the building’s concrete frame and slabs, the weight of the glass created a significant risk of racking within the steel curtain wall framing. Following structural calculations and elemental analysis, our solution resulted in the installation of steel shelves beneath each cill transom connection to provide additional support for the glass load, as well as positioning packers at designated locations around the glass perimeter. The complex lifting operations were planned and executed successfully by our in-house AP and lifting teams.


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