ADVANCED INTERLAYER SOLUTIONS
Around 2,000 free-standing panels of laminated glass, containing SentryGlas® ionoplast interlayer, are used to form balustrades at the new Westfield London shopping center, Europe’s largest urban shopping mall, which opened for business on 30 October 2008. 20 percent thinner than other glass laminate constructions of equivalent performance, the glass balustrades, manufactured by UK architectural glass supplier Kite Glass, provide a safe and secure shopping experience for all visitors to Westfield, while affording them unobstructed views of the more than 280 shops located there.
Europe’s largest urban shopping mall
The Westfield London shopping center, a £1.7 billion development designed, constructed and operated by the Westfield Group, boasts 150,000 square meters (1.6 million square feet) of space over two floors – the equivalent of 30 soccer pitches. In addition to its retail units, Westfield London will contain a cinema (due to open in late 2009), nearly 50 restaurants, leisure space and a library – and is expected to attract over 20 million visitors per year.
Once inside the vast shopping complex, visitors will discover an atmosphere of spaciousness and calm, created in part by the influences of nature – water, light and earthy materials are recurrent themes in its architecture and also by the integration of wide and expansive malls for a stress-free shopping experience. It was a reflection of the architectural vision for Westfield London, that CMF Ltd. of Feltham, Middlesex (UK), conceived the transparent glass balustrades and handrails for the first floor of the centre, it's significantly reduced and, at the same time, the role of the glass balustrade as a barrier is maintained.
“During transportation and installation of the panels at Westfield London, one or two of them cracked as a result of inappropriate handling, yet remained rigid and with the glass intact – providing us, and the site’s risk manager, with an impressive, first-hand demonstration of the interlayer’s post breakage performance,” confirmed Julian Clayton. “Overall, the end product has been first class. The glass balustrades and handrails, with their clean lines and simple design, conform perfectly with the light, spacious feel of Westfield London. At the same time they provide the many thousands of visitors to our centre with an unobstructed view of the exciting retail displays above and below them as well as a safe and secure shopping environment.”