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Client
Wessex Capacity Alliance
Year
2019
Architect
Grimshaw
Main Contractor
Skanska
Sector
Infrastructure

Scope Expand

  • Curtain wall glazing system
  • Glass louvres

Overview Expand

As part of the extensive upgrade of London Waterloo Station, specialist contractor Prater delivered a full envelope package to the infill connection between the main station and the redeveloped Waterloo International Terminal.

With 99 million people using Waterloo station every year and that number projected to increase by 40% by 2043, an extensive upgrade scheme was proposed to increase capacity and improve the customer experience. The scheme was delivered by the Wessex Capacity Alliance (WCA), a collaboration between Network Rail, Mott MacDonald, AECOM, Skanska and Colas Rail.

A significant part of the work was converting the Waterloo International Terminal (WIT), the UK terminus for Eurostar services until 2007, for use by domestic train services. This included creating a covered infill section to connect the iconic London Waterloo Station with the equally recognisable and award-winning international terminal. The Prater scope of works covered the construction of the infill section, which consisted of a bespoke curtain wall glazing system and Prater designed and fabricated glass louvres integrated into the façade to provide ventilation.

Due to the potential threat of attack at this high-profile London landmark, one of the key performance requirements for the glazed curtain walling was strength and enhanced blast resistance. The design of the infill section also needed to factor in the challenging movement and tolerance characteristics of the surrounding structures as well as the architectural design concept of maximising daylight into the station and ensuring views through the building.

Prater worked closely with the WCA professional team during the extended Pre-Contract Service Agreement period to ensure that the design would meet all the detailed project requirements. The Schüco FW 80+ XR façade system was selected and, in collaboration with Schüco, Prater developed a solution to enhance the system’s standard performance. Steel reinforcements were added to ensure the required level of blast resistance from both the outside and inside of the facade.

A further challenge for the project was the integration with the buildings that surrounded the new section on three sides. The cantilever steel structure of the WIT meant that the significant natural building movement had to be factored into the design, with tolerances carefully calculated and considered. This required close co-ordination with both the main contractor and structural steelwork provider.

The location also presented issues in terms of access and logistics. Prater’s installation team only had ground access on one side and access for all work on the other three elevations was only possible via the surrounding roof areas.

The Schüco façade system was fabricated by Prater at its Thurrock facility, and due to limited on-site storage facilities, all materials had to be delivered to site on a Just In Time (JIT) basis. Additionally, Prater built a full-sized prototype of a façade section to test the buildability of the solution and provide a demonstration of the completed aesthetics for the WCA professional team. Prater worked to a challenging timescale, starting on site in October 2018 and completing the work in time for the opening of the station in December 2018.