One New Change is the only large shopping centre in the City of London, the historic nucleus and modern financial centre of London. Owned and managed by Landsec, it cost £500 million to build and was completed in October 2010. It comprises 560,000 sq ft (52,000m2) of floor space, including 220,000 sq ft of retail space and 330,000 sq ft of office space.
The complex is located on New Change, a road linking Cannon Street with Cheapside, pretty much opposite St. Paul’s Cathedral, in one of the areas of the City historically associated with retailing and markets.
Kite Glass’ technical expertise was once more put to the test, as we were approached to match and supply five existing roof/floor panels that had unfortunately cracked. Located by the main entrance, these panels are above a section of walkway on the lower level of the centre.
As they needed to match the exact same specification, our team completed a series of 3-4 site visits to access and recommend what the best combination of materials would be. One of the key concerns was that if the glass finish was too opaque, and due to its thickness, it would obstruct light to the shop that occupies the building area below the glass panels.
These textured 50.56mm panels contained four layers, one 10mm and three 12mm heat-strengthened, low iron laminated glass, with a 1.52mm PVB interlayer. Final finishes included smoothing all round, sandblasting to a specific design on the top panel, and Ritec coating.
Although the installation process happened during COVID lockdown, City site restrictions still applied, which meant the job had to be done on a Saturday night, as it necessitated closing pavements to allow for the movement of some heavy glass panels, machinery, and the removal of some of the shop frontage to ease glass fitting. To add to the difficulties, and due to the panels’ texture, a stone lifter suction pad had to be used instead of a standard glass one, which would not have worked.