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Glassolutions spectacular glass walkway floors across Tower Bridge

  • 2 Dec 2014

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Tourists visiting Tower Bridge can see a unique view of the bridge mechanism and road below – through two new glass walkway floors installed by Glassolutions, 42 metres above the River Thames.

Tourists visiting Tower Bridge have spectacular views of the bridge mechanism and road below through two new glass floors design and manufactured by Glassolutions for a unique walkways 42 metres above the River Thames.

Glassolutions won the £250,000 contract to design and manufacture the one-way glass inserted into the floor of each of the two 11.5 metre long walkways high over Tower Bridge.

Withstand the weight of six elephants

Existing walkway floors of the Grade I listed building were removed and a steel frame installed. New 80mm thick glass floor panels were inserted, comprising seven layers of glass capable of withstanding the weight of six elephants.

Glass specification

Glassolutions won the £250,000 contract to design and manufacture the (one-way) glass, which has been inserted into the floor of each of the two 11.5 metre long walkways at Tower Bridge

The walkway can accommodate major external forces such as wind loading and the potential impact of a passing vessel strike. Of equal importance was the consideration of internal impacts on the glass floors and how to design-in a way to easily repair any damage.

‘Sacrificial’ layer of glass

Glassolutions incorporated a top ‘sacrificial’ layer of glass into the panels that can be quickly and easily replaced should any damage occur without affecting the structural integrity of the floor. This means being able to deal with minor scratches and scuff marks resulting from the heavy footfall of 600,000 visitors each year.

This innovative design has already demonstrated its value with a breakage in one of the panels occurring when a heavy item was accidentally dropped during the new venue’s opening fortnight.

Maintaining privacy

With a wide variety of events and functions held on the walkways, another dimension to the glass panel design was to maintain privacy for venue users when necessary to prevent prying eyes from the passing traffic and pedestrians on the bridge below.

The clever panel design allows for this because the top layer of glass can be changed to incorporate a privacy feature.

Chris Earlie, business manager at Tower Bridge: “There has never been anything as big as this for Tower Bridge in terms of development, and in terms of future-proofing in the exhibition. We were really confident with the solution that Glassolutions presented and we’re really happy with the outcome.”

Simon Carin, managing director of Glassolutions: “The glass walkways are designed to enhance this already stunning visitor attraction and have certainly created a new talking point.  This project is similar to the glass floor installations Saint-Gobain has been involved with at the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Spinnaker Tower view decks in Portsmouth. It’s a privilege to be part of such a landmark project and we’re delighted that our expertise has made it possible.”

About Tower Bridge

  • owned by Bridge House Estate and managed by the City of London
  • took 8 years, 5 major contractors and 432 construction workers to build Tower Bridge
  • completed in 1892 and opened in 1894

About the Tower Bridge Exhibition

  • includes animations and displays across its towers, high-level panoramic walkways and the Victorian Engine Rooms
  • installation of the glass walkways is the most significant change to the Exhibition since it first opened in 1982

Contact:

Herald Way
Binley
Coventry
CV3 2ZG
UK
Tel: 024 7654 7400

Visit the Glassolutions website

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