Knightsbridge Gate, a mixed-use development including shopfronts on one of the country’s most iconic shopping districts, comprises an entire block of a street including both new-build and a 120-metre-long Edwardian street-facing façade with 17 glazed shopfronts for which Pilkington OptiView Protect OW anti-reflective glass was chosen.

The glazing for each of the frontages is held in place by decorative oak frames that have been carefully re-created according to the original design. 

Coatings on the outer faces of the laminated glass reduce its reflectivity to around 2%, compared with around 8% for standard, uncoated glass. The result is that views into the shopfronts are almost entirely uninterrupted by reflections, even on bright days.

To give further clarity, the glass is Pilkington Optiwhite low-iron glass that is almost entirely free from colouration.

Rachel Scannell at client APML Estate said: “The aim with the retail units at Knightsbridge Gate was to create spaces that the most prestigious brands in the world would be happy to choose in order to display their offerings. The glazing is, of course, a key part of this.

“The anti-reflective glass from Pilkington UK is often used by galleries and museums to display priceless artworks and artifacts without compromising on detail, so the retailers that call Knightsbridge Gate home will enjoy the same benefits.”

Adding to the aesthetic appeal of the glazing is the complex shape of the panes that make it up, including a large, curved edge at the top of the central pane in each shopfront. Pilkington UK engineers worked closely with the carpenters to precision cut each pane of glass to ensure a perfect fit.

The shop front windows consist of two panes of glass laminated together with a polyvinyl butyral (PVB) interlayer to ensure the glazing can stand up to all the forces that may be thrown at it, from wind-loading, to any attempts to smash the glass.

Peter Maj, business development manager at Pilkington United Kingdom, said: “By selecting Pilkington OptiView for this project, the designers have demonstrated that it is the product of choice for retail applications where the glazing will be under the utmost scrutiny and needs to look its best.”

Along with the shop-fronts, Pilkington also supplied 300 m2 of Pilkington Optiphon OW acoustic glass, which has been used throughout the offices and apartments on the upper five floors of the building to provide noise-reducing secondary glazing.

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