15th July 2021

Perega Clear Structures brings perfect vision to Angel Central

Opened in 2002, Angel Central Shopping Centre is a bustling North London retail hub, comprising shopping, dining and entertainment brands. Owner CBRE Global Investors wanted to modernise the site and create more social spaces to establish the centre as a retail and leisure hotspot.

The ambitious plans included new stylish glazing for various shop fronts, 7m high curtain walling and glass infill elements, structural glass balustrading to the new pedestrian bridge, bespoke street-facing pop-out screens and a 4.4m high structural glazed external kiosk located beneath the site’s iconic angel wings sculpture. Perega Clear Structures was appointed as glass engineers across the entire project to update the glazing, in line with the client’s ambitious vision.

From the outset, the entrance to the centre was planned to deliver a high-impact visual statement, featuring the centre’s iconic 12-tonne, 15m angel wing sculpture raised above a brand-new footbridge and a structural glass oval kiosk.

The glass kiosk utilises a cantilevered steel goal post frame designed to house and support curved glass sliding doors, with 4.4m high curved laminated safety glass forming the wall cladding.

Angel Central shopping centre

The glass wall cladding is housed on a continuous steel beam at low level and fixed back to a load bearing upstand (street side), and a solid concrete ground beam facing in-side. At high level the glass is laterally restrained within the bridge structure, both deliver essential structural integrity.

Crucially, the kiosk glass wall supports were designed to account for any differential movement caused by vibrations from the overhead bridge, expected to receive heavy footfall daily.

Similar calculations had to be taken into account in the design of the secondary steel, which formed the clamp that houses the glass to the balustrades on the first storey, around the development’s central courtyard, and along the new pedestrian bridge.

To the right of the bridge, an eye-catching curtain wall store frontage now stands in place of what used to be an unremarkable industrial façade and staircase.

Perega Clear Structures associate engineer Barry Patrick designed the curtain wall framework, which spans approximately 7m between supports. To ensure the correct stiffness was implemented within the frame, bespoke internal stiffening members were required throughout. Laminated structural glass DGU infill panels were also designed using finite element analysis software to ensure each one could achieve the required barrier and wind load pressures. Perega’s curved entrance cladding is also visually enhanced with a large wrap-around lattice framework at high level.

Angel Central shopping centre

Barry explains: “It’s not obvious looking at it, however the design concept for the frame was a challenge. We worked alongside other specialist contractors, where we were required to incorporate their design within ours, taking their load transfers and tolerances into consideration. The clear span height, along with the slender aluminium boxes, meant the curtain wall required stiffening to allow the frame to withstand the pressures and loads from surrounding elements.”

Inside the centre, escalators are now framed on the first floor by an illuminated balustrade. A steel frame element supports, and houses honeycomb coloured glass infill panels in front of a light source for a striking effect.

That’s not all. Perega Clear Structures also designed the glass elements for a series of street-facing pop-out windows between the first and second floors, and the glazing and framing for various ground floor shop fronts.

Completed in March 2021, the refurbishment prioritises well-being for staff and visitors alike through accessibility, daylight, fresh air and green space.

Since completion, Angel Central has joined the ranks of only two other shopping centres in the world by achieving a Fitwel 2-star rating. This accreditation recognises its commitment to building health for all. Bespoke planting and landscaping across the site has also been BREEAM-certified, enhancing its green credentials.

To find out more about Perega Clear Structures, visit our “Glass and Facade Engineering ” page.