The title of this is 'Heat & Light in Context'. I'll be illustrating this theme with a series of projects where we've developed the use of glass with reference to specific jobs in the office, and to resolve a particular brief. I should say that the brief is expanded so it includes the context which is usually urban and includes the positive contributions I think a building should make to the city and also to take the opportunity when building on, or renovating, to do the right thing for the environment. And of course most of all to give something interesting and exciting for the people using it to enjoy. I'll start with a restaurant we did in Hampstead in 1986 - Zen W3. We felt we had to do something quite radical and it consisted of an 18th century listed Georgian farmhouse that had an extension built onto it in the 1970s. We in the end virtually demolished the new extension and put a whole new glass facade on it and pretty well just restored what was left of the farmhouse which was mainly the front facade. The reason for changing the whole front facade of the extension was so we could expose the restaurant to the street. The glass we used on the front facade was fairly traditional, just patent glazing system. And in the centre we created a roof light and brought the glass down through the middle.
The innovation was to use the glass to contain a waterfall that ran down the balustrade of the main stair connecting two levels. The client was Chinese, and running water is 'running money'. Also the client had had a restaurant previously on two levels that had failed, so he said he wanted the whole restaurant to act as one big room. Which gave us a nice opportunity to create two-storey volumes which would unite all levels, to the point where anywhere in the restaurant you felt you were part of the same space.
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