The Silverstone experience, enhanced

Technal’s curtain walling and Stormframe STII aluminium doors have been used to create an impressive, light-filled entrance to Silverstone Interactive Museum building in Towcester, Northamptonshire. High-performance, low-profile glazing allowed the design concept to be realised while meeting the project-specific technical requirements.

“The Technal curtain walling was a key part of the design, explained Jane Lock-Smith, managing director of Cube Design, the award-winning architecture practice that designed the museum. “We had worked with Technal on a number of projects before, and so we were confident its products could deliver what we needed. The large expanses of glass at the front and rear of the building provided an excellent contrast to the finish and materials of the rainscreen cladding that dominates the exterior of the building.”

The Silverstone Interactive Museum is a 6000m² motorsport exhibition located at the world-famous Silverstone Circuit. The £22m museum building, built with a contribution from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, consists of a fully refurbished Second World War aircraft hangar, and a new, two-storey extension, which serves as the entrance to the exhibition. The hangar, which is an important part of Silverstone’s heritage as a former Royal Air Force base, is the only one remaining on the site, and one of only two such examples in the UK.

“The aim with the design of the Silverstone Interactive Museum was to create an iconic building that would provide an impressive statement at the entrance to the circuit,” continued Jane. “To enhance the visitor experience, the exhibition area within the hangar was designed as a ‘black box’, to remove external influences. We wanted the extension area entrance to be a contrast to this with natural light and views out across the famous track.”

Alongside the Technal curtain walling and doors, the Silverstone Interactive Museum building features a combination of opaque polycarbonate rainscreen cladding and an iridescent aluminium cladding that has green and pink tones depending on the light. The exposed location of the Silverstone Interactive Museum meant that airtightness and thermal efficiency were also design considerations. The Technal aluminium curtain walling system features thermally broken construction and high levels of wind and weather resistance.

Commercial glazing contractor, QG Architectural Aluminium Specialists, carried out the design, fabrication and installation of the glazing systems. QG specialises in Technal products and has worked alongside Technal on projects for over 30 years. For the Silverstone Interactive Museum, Technal provided full technical and product support throughout, from initial specification to installation.

Jake Brown, QG’s project manager, said: “The design intention with the glazing was to create a wall of glass with minimal interruptions to maximise the views of Silverstone. The Technal curtain wall system allowed us to use large panel sizes of up to 2.8m high and 2m wide, without additional steelwork that would have detracted from the intended design and added to the cost. This combined with the slimline profile of the system meant we could achieve exactly what was required.

“Due to the nature of the building and location close to the circuit, the goal with the acoustics was to achieve a balance of reducing the sound from the track so it didn’t become distracting without completely eliminating it. We could achieve this with the Technal system, using standard double glazing without the need for acoustic glass.”

Dean Sherwood, Technal’s project consultant, added: “The Silverstone Interactive Museum building is an iconic addition to the landscape of the circuit and a testament to the skills and expertise of everyone involved. We are proud to have contributed to the creation of this exhibition centre, which will be enjoyed by visitors for years to come.” To find out more about the Technal range, visit technal.com.