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Curtain walling and entrance doors by Kawneer were used in The O2.

Architectural glazing systems by leading UK manufacturer Kawneer were used inside ICON Outlet at The O2 for their design flexibility and guaranteed performance.


Two types of Kawneer curtain walling - AA®100 zone-drained and SSG (Structurally Silicone Glazed) - feature alongside series 190 heavy-duty commercial entrance doors on the 210,000ft2 premium urban outlet inside The O2 on the Greenwich Peninsular in London.

They form the shopfronts within the £69 million complex which provides more than 80 retail units with a combined area of approximately 400,000ft2. ICON Outlet defines urban outlet malls and brings a shopping experience to the world's No 1 entertainment venue for the very first time.

The O2's offering also features a 20,000-capacity arena, Hollywood Bowl, Oxygen Freejumping, London's largest Cineworld, Up at The O2, the soon to be opening Mamma Mia! The Party, and even more restaurants and bars.

It was main contractor ISG's second major project for developers AEG and Crosstree Real Estate Partners, following the successful delivery of the “Up at The O2” roof walk experience.

The Kawneer systems were installed over a period of a year, integrated with rendered panels, natural stone, brick slips, copper and polyester powder-coated metal panels, by a team of up to 10 fitters from approved dealer JPJ Installations. The curtain walling was installed with a mixture of single and double-glazed glass units.

Nathmya Saffarini, a senior associate director at architects CallisonRTKL, said: “As shopfront displays are more readily viewed if they are behind single glazing, we had to carefully proportion how much of the shopfront could be single-glazed to achieve this, and double-glazed to maintain the requirements of the thermal model.

“We wrote a performance specification for the landlord-provided shopfronts and the successful tenderer proposed the use of Kawneer. We wanted a simple curtain wall kit of parts where we could vary the frame colour, the extent of solid or glazed stall risers and over panels and have varying pull handles to the doors. This gave us enough variety to ensure a level of variation and individuality in design in groups of shopfronts and maintain thermal performance.”

She added: “Although the shopfronts are in an internal environment they still have to perform thermally and achieve air tightness. Sustainability was very important as the shell and core of the development is looking to achieve BREEAM outstanding.”

CRTKL's concept focused on supporting the leasing strategy to create four key themes, each reflecting consumer trends and behaviour.  'Best of British' offers quality and heritage; 'Global fashion' supplying premium brands from across the globe; 'Beauty and accessories' is the port of call for cosmetics and accessories, and 'Sports and lifestyle' offers some of the most exciting names in athleisure.  

Ceiling treatments give character to the spaces and are a unique feature of the development, designed to create a sense of light, space and tranquillity. Clever use of LED lighting enables the tone and look and feel of the development to shift depending on the time of day.

The two-storey mall section referred to as the Petals creates a sensory explosion of colour and form inspired by London's fashionable retail streets. The canopy that runs along its street is designed to replicate the dappled shade of a tree-lined thoroughfare.

The single-storey section referred to as the Cloud is designed as a calming retail escape, with column-free retail space, the ceilings and roofs being hung from existing trusses in the space. It creates an ambiance of light and tranquillity with its immersive forms and cool colours and is a clever solution that gives the client the flexibility to move internal partitions as needed to meet retailer requirements.

Extending in an arc around the northern section of The O2, ICON Outlet is arranged either side of a central street, linking The O2's main entrance to the existing entertainment district.

Nathmya said: “The retail world is ever-evolving and the focus on the curated experience is a real shift of approach. Shopping destinations are now seeking new leisure experiences to attract, activate and energize their existing offer. What we have here is one of the most iconic leisure destinations in the world, anchored by the world's favourite arena. We believe the addition of the ICON Outlet is a critical piece that will not only transform The O2, but also create a new retail, dining and leisure paradigm.”


Photo: Soren Kristensen.

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