Plymouth Grove in Manchester is a striking example of contemporary architecture and imaginative use of materials – and Pilkington Activ™ self-cleaning glass has been specified as an integral part of the overall design.
Plymouth Grove is a Makin Architecture-designed mixed-use scheme featuring a stunning 45m corner tower. This landmark gateway structure has been developed on the site of a former car park, to fit in with the city’s overall vision for the area. The triangular corner location dictates the building’s shape, which extends to the full footprint of the site, wrapping around an internal elevation courtyard.
The development houses residential accommodation, shops, offices and ancillary areas, and the building is visually divided into five, eight, nine and 13 storeys. The curved corner tower has 116 two-bedroom flats and the rest of the residential accommodation provides 72 flats for Manchester’s student population and resplendent with Pilkington Activ™ glass, the whole imaginative contemporary structure stands out along the city skyline.
Pilkington Activ™ has served a dual purpose – functionally, the self-cleaning properties of the glass eliminate the costly and labour intensive requirements of cleaning at height, and aesthetically, the material meets the modern visual design specification.
“The main contractor brought Pilkington Activ™ to our attention and when we considered all the advantages of using this product we were more than happy to ratify this choice,” comments Dragana Opačić, Director at Makin. “Having seen the glass on the finished building we are delighted with the results. The glass stays clean and keeps the building looking at its best whilst addressing on-going health, safety and environmental issues. We will definitely specify the glass again, especially on high-rise structures of this nature".
The secret of Pilkington Activ™ is its special coating, which works in two stages. Firstly, the coating reacts with ultra-violet (UV) rays from natural daylight to break down organic dirt. The second part of the process commences when water hits the glass. Rainwater runs down the glass to wash loosened dirt (both organic and inorganic) away. Compared with conventional glass, the water dries very quickly, reducing unsightly streaks or marks.