Eyrise: solar shading glass for historic building renovation

RUSI (the Royal United Services Institute) has appointed Eyrise to provide solar shading glass for a new contemporary glazed dome at its historic grade II listed headquarters in central London.

The dome, which will serve as a meeting hub with views of Whitehall, is part of a complete renovation of 61 Whitehall. The building dates back to 1896.

Construction has almost finished to modernise the organisation’s office space, incorporating the latest building technology and adding a fifth floor.

RUSI, the world’s oldest independent security and defence think-tank, was founded in 1831 by the Duke of Wellington. A British institution operating with an international perspective, it produces cutting-edge research and events focused on UK defence, security and global affairs. RUSI is the podium of choice for world leaders and senior policy makers, and the new dome will become part of the institute’s agenda-setting events in the decades to come.

Eyrise is providing 85 square metres of dynamic liquid crystal glazing: 70 double glass panels will be installed within the dome’s steel structure, featuring Licrivision technology that enables the glass to offer instant solar shading without compromising on natural daylight.

RUSI’s glazing features liquid crystal mixture D, which will allow occupants of the dome to experience visual comfort, thermal regulation and colour neutrality.

Liquid crystal mixtures have a different bandwidth of light transmission between the brightest and darkest state. Specification is based on the orientation of a building facade to sun exposure.

“This renovation is about bringing our landmark building into the twenty-first century and the new dome will play a huge part in that,” said Deborah Pourkarimi, Chief Operating Officer at RUSI. “It’s going to be an incredible space, where we will be able to bring people together in the heart of Westminster. In doing so, we’ll be shaping conversations and contributing to a safer, more secure and stable world.”

The renovation works are due to be completed in the second half of 2023.

“Given the dome will be a hub for discussion and sharing expertise, it’s apt that a clear view to the outside is always maintained, regardless of the shading condition of the glass,” said Celine Glipa, CEO of Eyrise. “Eyrise will enhance sustainability credentials of the building too, contributing to lower energy consumption as the dome will require less air conditioning and lighting.”

Construction company Coniston is overseeing the renovation project. Octatube built the steel dome structure and is installing the Eyrise glass.

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