Rethinking our workplaces

In contrast to the industrial architecture of Liverpool (United Kingdom), The Spine sets an example for sustainability and occupant well-being. For this project, Saint-Gobain provided a unique set of façade glazing. 

The Spine
© John Kees Photography

The Spine, a new branch of the Royal College of Physicians, takes its name from one of the building's spine-shaped staircases. Inspired by anatomy and nature, this 14-story, 15,000 m2 building is an illustration of biophilic design.  

For example, the colors chosen for the interiors are soft and reminiscent of the earth on the first levels, then evolve towards green as they rise, and blue on the top floors. Numerous plants, chosen for their high oxygen production, were also integrated into the design of the interior spaces. 

Saint-Gobain contributed to this unique project by supplying the façade glazing, i.e., nearly 10,000 m2 of insulating glass. Saint-Gobain Glass was chosen for this project primarily because of the PICTUREit® technology deployed on all the facades: an enamel is applied to the surface of the glass, which is then tempered, vitrifying the pattern and ensuring resistance to UV rays, humidity and scratching. The pattern designed by the architects of the firm AHR is based on the diagram of the Russian mathematician Voronoi and consists of 23 million unique polygons. The use of repeating patterns on the façade promotes a sense of calm in the building, reflecting light and creating moving shadows. 

The type of glazing chosen, COOL-LITE® XTREME 50/22 II, provides very good light transmission and excellent insulation, both in terms of solar protection (reduced air conditioning use) and thermal insulation (reduced heating use). 

Thanks to innovative materials and ambitious architecture, The Spine has obtained the WELL Standard certification, which attests to a commitment to user health, as well as BREEAM (sustainability) certification.

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