GEZE UK: Talk of the town
GEZE UK has successfully brought together classical architecture and contemporary glass automated entrances to allow access for all, as part of a £35million re-development at Birmingham's historic Town Hall, which has been shortlisted for design excellence by both the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
The UK's leading manufacturer of door and window control systems, has supplied more than 100 automatic and manual closers from its extensive range, including TSA 160 UFOs with toughened glass fitted into the structural glass arches of the main entrance. The impressive lobby also uses Slimdrive SD automatic doors and a TSA 160 automatic swing door to complete the restoration of the Greek-inspired style Grade 1 listed building.
One of the most prestigious makeovers in the Midlands, the project, headed by Birmingham City Council’s Urban Design Department, had to meet the demanding requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA), facilitating easy access for all, without altering the original architectural style of the building whilst satisfying the strict requirements of English Heritage.
The greatest challenge was to specify a door solution that complemented the requirements of the DDA and would also discreetly attach onto the glass screen of the two main entrance doors without compromising the authentic arched design. Working with Tuscan Hardware, GEZE UK specified the TSA 160 UFO under floor operator for a virtually invisible installation, ensuring the original design of the main entrance was not lost.
Developed from GEZE UK’s highly respected TSA 160 transom mounted unit, the state-of-the-art TSA 160 UFO offers discrete under floor fitting on a wide range of applications with door leaves of up to 120kg. The easy to install electro-hydraulic operator meets access and aesthetic restrictions associated with listed buildings and allows for DDA compliance in accordance with BS 83000.
Both the sleek and minimalist TSA 160 and Slimdrive SD automatic operators installed in the lobby are ideal for saving energy by reducing heat lost from frequent passing traffic. The electro-hydraulic power behind the Slimdrive SD also kicks in when the movement sensor is triggered for an easy and assisted opening, perfectly suited for use by the elderly or infirm.
GEZE UK's sales and marketing director, Jules Quested-Williams commented: “Restoring the Town Hall to its former glory and improving access to it, whilst maintaining its historic architecture was crucial to the success of the project, which led Tuscan Hardware to us.
“Hidden beneath its restored historic beauty, the building harbours the most advanced and compact door technology, bringing it in line with the DDA and ensuring it meets environmental standards.”
Barry Adams, Birmingham City Council commented: “Access to the Town Hall has been substantially improved for all users. The discreet installation of door technology benefits people with disabilities and limited dexterity and provides access to most public areas. This has been a major challenge considering the Grade 1 listed status of such a landmark building but overall has been achieved without detriment to the historic fabric.”
GEZE UK also supplied a variety of manual door closers including the TS 2000, TS 4000 E, Boxers and TS 550 E floor springs to improve access throughout the building, which is home to many of Birmingham’s performing, commercial and community events.