Rising like a beacon at the head of South Dock, Dollar Bay marks a new place of re-development of the Isle of Dogs and provides a striking addition to Canary Wharf’s impressive skyline.
Dollar Bay enhanced public space on a constrained yet prominent site. With a relatively small footprint of 0.24 hectares on which to build and the site being closely bounded by low-rise residential developments, the use of this area has been optimised to create a delicate tower.
A simple rigour infuses every line of the tower’s taut geometry. The building rises as two elegant crystalline forms fused together by the joint of the circulation core. A meticulously detailed façade gives Dollar Bay its unique appearance: the west façade facing the waterfront appears to ripple. Its folds and creases evoke a waterfall gathering pace as water descends, generating a series of horizontal facets across the elevation that capture the light differently.
Reflecting the water and sky, the clear glazed and fritted glazed façades maximise views out and adjustable louvres and openable windows enliven the façade, creating a constantly changing surface. Designed from the inside out, the building’s form is driven by the internal planning of light-filled, spacious and comfortable homes that enjoy double and triple aspect views across London. Each home benefits from a winter garden, an enclosed balcony with floor-to-ceiling windows, which brings daylight in and creates a sense of openness and connection with the outside.
The building is a catalyst for high quality architecture in the area. Dollar Bay improves the public space on the previously unused waterfront promenade: it significantly contributes to local regeneration and supports and enhances the local community by providing a new waterfront destination for all to enjoy. By resting lightly on the ground, additional space for the landscaped waterside public realm is created.
A unique dock water comfort cooling solution is designed to be highly energy efficient, potentially saving homeowners 39% on costs and reducing carbon footprint by 23% compared to traditional technologies. It is the first time London Dock water has been used to cool a residential building, which also serves to safeguard the building’s sleek appearance, as no unsightly and noisy plant is visible externally.
The building develops vertically, turning into a 31-storey residential tower with 120 apartments and double-height Penthouses, on the upper 4 storeys of the tower. The construction presents a relatively small footprint, but it is still proportionate to the height of the tower that slightly exceeds the 100m.
The building is fully clad with a glazed envelope, designed with several curtain walling systems. The particular aspect of the West Elevation, where the units slope inward and outward, has been designed with trapezoidal shaped unitised curtain walling, which required to be developed using 3D modelling software.
The East and West elevations comprise the winter gardens clad with ventilated unitised curtain walling, with weather-resistant glass louvres. The winter gardens façades (EWS-10) have been the most challenging part of the project. Indeed, the typical unit – 1,5 x 3,9m high – consists of 6 horizontal glazed louvres 500mm high, divided in 3 openable motorised glazed louvres (opening angle up to 70°) allowing the ventilation, and 3 fixed glazed louvres at the parapet and ceiling levels. The openable glazed louvres motorisation has been fully integrated into the profiles of the unit. The purpose was to confer the same aesthetical appearance upon the openable and fixed louvres, so a bespoke system has been designed in order to conceal the automation.
These actuators are integrated in the mullion and they are synchronised and managed by an electronic control box installed in the internal parapet of the winter garden. Facing partially on the outside, the actuators are IP66 rated. Each apartment is provided with a manual override to manage the glass louvre ventilation units, which is controlled by the BMS. It activates the self-closing system in case of extreme weather conditions or wind speed higher than 13,5 m/s.
The louvres consist of laminated glass 10.10 Pvb hard coating Ipasol bright white on face 2, structurally bonded on two bespoke aluminium extruded blades, fixed to the mullions and the actuators. The entire system was subjected to an aero engine test in order to ensure its resistance to the design wind pressure, whilst the louvres motorisation was tested 10.000 cycles for CE marking. At the connection with the winter gardens, the SSG units turn into trapezoidal elements designed through thermal break profiles and consisting of laminated glass 10.10 pvb hard coating Ipasol bright white.
The winter garden façade (EWS-20) consists of 330 sliding doors, double and triple leaf, to access to balconies. Insulated panels are placed between these sliding doors. The panels consist of 6 mm toughened HST 100% enamelled glass metallic colour RAL 9007 and they incorporate balconies lights and external electric sockets.
The North and South Elevations feature spandrel panels warm façades (EWS-30) consisting of DGU with external pane laminated 6.6 Pvb striped fritting on face 4 and hard coating Ipasol bright white on face 2. The internal pane is 6 mm toughened HS 100% enamelled metallic colour RAL 9006. These units are filled with a rock wool insulation, whilst internally a concealing plasterboard panel has been used.
These façades feature top hung vents in order to guarantee the natural and kitchen exhaust ventilation. The vision DGUs have been designed with laminated security glass and hard coating Ipasol bright, on face 2, combined with a HP coating Ipasol 70/39 on face 4. It has been necessary to achieve the performances required.
The common areas, such as the access corridors to the apartments, required a unitised curtain walling featuring top hung vents and a bottom hung motorized “smoke-out” vents.
Being a residential tower, it was necessary to guarantee a fixed ventilation for the bathrooms by means of ventilation grilles and to equip the façade with a connection to kitchens exhaust ventilation. The architectural requirement was to minimize the introduction of these air intakes on the façade. To preserve its aesthetic, we designed a minimum broadening of the horizontal stack joint between the glasses. Designed to be totally contained within the parapet, the system results practically invisible. It was tested in order to be compliant with the specification.
Thermal performances comply with the NHBC requirement for the residential building, which means an Rh over the 60 % humidity. Another feature of Dollar Bay is the ground floor bespoke stick aluminium toggle system façade EWS-40 on the North and South Elevations. The complex triangular geometry has required the design of bespoke extrusions able to adapt to the several corner adjustments, developed by 3D modelling software. The façades glazed envelope is held by a toggle system, externally fixed and sealed to the stack joints. The triangular and trapezoidal DGU double laminated with Sefar mesh on the external pane Double gold colour. The mesh is inserted inside the external laminated pane while on the perimeter it is applied an edge fritting to match gold colour made by Digital printer.
Our supply also includes the building roof that is sloped and designed for the installation of photovoltaic panels. The entire glazed cladding of the building, consisting of several types of façade arranged on variable inclinations, required the use of the hard coating Ipasol bright in order to guarantee a complete envelope homogeneity. The result has been brilliant.
PROJECT: DOLLAR BAY
ARCHITECT: SIMPSONHAUGH AND PARTNERS
GENERAL CONTRACTOR: MOUNT ANVIL LTD
Article courtesy of Focchi