Slimdrive SL

Ship-shape entrance makes an impact

An innovative new headquarters in Durham is making the right impression with its marine-themed entrance, made possible by the world leader of door and window control systems, GEZE UK.

The award-winning building for Sunderland Marine Mutual Insurance was inspired by the company’s activities and the entrance is shaped to reflect a ship’s bow, presenting a major challenge to constructors.

This was met by GEZE, who designed and fitted three sliding glass doors to form a triangle to the main entrance, using the latest technology and their world-beating expertise to bolt automatic door operators to glass, creating the seamless glass effect envisioned by the architects.

By working in partnership with sub-contractors Solaglas, the system was integrated efficiently and successfully. GEZE has worked with Solaglas, which is the largest distributor, processor and installer of glass related products in the UK, on a number of similar projects, so could ensure the highest standard of installation.

Trevor Clews, senior project manager for Solaglas, said: "We were delighted to be appointed by main contractor Whelan Construction to work on this unusual nautical theme project.  We worked closely with the architects throughout and chose GEZE for their expertise and ability to match the architects' specification and vision. They offered us a design solution which featured automatic doors with minimal framing, to suit the style of the overall build."

Other nautical features on the innovative building include porthole windows and external lighting featuring replicate sea clams.

The result is a prestigious headquarters that has recently won the Building of the Year Award, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors Award and is currently shortlisted for the Durham Environmental Award. 

GEZE’s sales and marketing director Paul Gerrard added: “It is good to work again with Solaglas on such an exciting and innovative project. The architects’ vision was very clear and our industry-leading expertise helped make it a reality. The entrance to a headquarters helps a company make their first impression on clients, employees and suppliers. It is vital that the doors are of the highest quality and reflect the design as a whole."