Quay West

  • Manchester

  • 1992

  • Contractor G.R. Moris Constr. Ltd UK

  • Photos: Inpace/ Shutter Speed

The QUAY WEST BUILDING rises from the waterfront of the famous Manchester ship canal, standing in bold contrast to mature Salford on the opposite bank and symbolizing the city’s newly established and fast expanding service industry.
In view of their experience in glass facades, Ship Canal Investments Ltd. (one of the North East most reputable and prestigious investments companies) entrusted The Ratcliff Partnership Ltd. With the design of the first building in Manchester ship canal development program.

The multi-faceted building has many angled surfaces in respect to the main orthogonal elevations and in their quest for a unique design, the Architects set out to “mould” the QUAY WEST BUILDING’s 6500 m2 of structural glazing around a core of reinforced concrete. To achieve this effect, they called on Focchi to design and fashion a skin of glass that could sustain a credible appearance and performance whilst concealing the supporting aluminium framework from view.

The technology

The technology employed by Focchi is the PANORAMI® system, successfully tested over the years in a number of facades features the use of structural silicone and ventilated triple glazing.
With a single reflective glass on the exterior creating a ventilated air chamber combined with an internal opening double glazed unit allowing inspection and cleaning.
Bottom concealed brackets relieve the silicone bonding of stress while giving additional mechanical support to each external pane.

The fully glazed atrium roof comprises a steel and aluminium structure which is entirely suspended without intermediate supports and slopes at an angle over 30 degrees. Only with the PANORAMI® system can such result be achieved.


The Ratcliff Partnership Ltd