The 2005 Activ in Architecture Competition, organised by Pilkington in conjunction with the RIBA Journal was established to find the most innovative projects for the world’s most innovative glass, with a prize of a free upgrade to Pilkington Activ™ self-cleaning glass. The project produced some outstanding entries, with the Brunswick Centre in Bloomsbury emerging as the clear winner. However, another, more humble, entry also caught the judges’ eye.
The Old Bakery at Cressing was built in 1650 and was entered in the competition for the erection of a loggia sunroom. The building stands in the grounds of a thatched cottage, and serves as ancillary accommodation to the cottage. Linking the cottage and the Old Bakery is a freestanding pergola. The replacement of the pergola with a loggia sunroom was designed to recreate the same ambience as the existing pergola. The central glazed ridge was vital in keeping the space light. Combining sympathetic design with modern materials, the loggia combines glass with an unusual and striking grass roof. To the judges, it was clear that the versatility and practicality of self-cleaning glass could benefit this structure.
Stuart Chambers, Chairman of the judges and Chief Executive of Pilkington plc, was impressed with the design by architects Kay Pilsbury, and felt that the use of Pilkington Activ™ self-cleaning glass would enhance the appearance of the sunroom without compromising its character and history. This special judges’ award means that the building will now also benefit from a free upgrade to Pilkington Activ™ self-cleaning glass.
Since its launch in September 2002, Pilkington Activ™ has revolutionised the glass and glazing industry as the world’s first genuine self-cleaning glass. Using a special dual-action coating that continuously reacts with the sun’s ultra violet light to break down organic deposits of dirt, with a secondary action that uses rain to wash both inorganic and organic deposits away, Pilkington Activ™ allows windows and other glazed structures to literally ‘continuously clean themselves’ by harnessing the natural elements. The product has experienced massive interest worldwide and has already been used in many prestigious commercial applications.