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Florentinum, Prague IMG_7980X

Guardian SunGuard® glass soars & swoops on a number of Europe’s most iconic buildings

They may not know it by brand name or manufacturer, but millions of people across Europe for years have admired, peered through and benefited from the special properties of a certain family of glass products.

From London and Prague to Istanbul and Stockholm, and from soaring skyscrapers and shopping malls, to modern post offices and luxury hotels, the Guardian SunGuard® SuperNeutral® series of solar protection glass has helped to create an impressive array of modern, functional and comfortable buildings.

Combining a high natural light transmission with a very high solar protection, SunGuard SN products offer a great neutral look that can also help to save energy consumption by reducing the need for artificial light, as well as cooling in hot seasons and heating in cold seasons.

By opting to install Guardian ExtraClear® glass with SunGuard coating, leading architects and builders have provided some of the most spectacular buildings in Europe with a neutral appearance, adding vital functionality while allowing the architectural splendor of the structures to shine through.

Take, for instance, London’s 225-metre-high, 52-storey Leadenhall skyscraper. Popularly known as “The Cheesegrater” for its distinct, wedge-like design.The building, located at 122 Leadenhall Street in the City of London’s financial district, was designed by renowned architect Richard Rogers of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. Construction began in 2010 and the tapering towernow sits across from another of Rogers’ iconic buildings – the Lloyds of London headquarters.

Fabricated completely off site, the Leadenhall Building uses a unitised, double-skin façade that clads over 14,000 square metres of the building. China-based Yuanda Ltd. manufactured the unitised system, and a number of IGU manufacturers in China also made the glazed units. The double-skin façade uses several Guardian glass options, including SunGuard SuperNeutral SN62/34, SN51/28 and SN40/23 in the outer skin and Guardian ClimaGuard® Premium Low E on the inner skin. Guardian LamiGlass® 6.8 and 8.8 was also used as well as various coloured interlayer laminates to help give the building some of its unique character.

In Prague, in the Czech Republic, is the Florentinum office-retail complex. Penta Investment’s first property development project in the country, it is located on the site of the former Czech printing house Ceska Typografiein the city’s historical centre. With a total investment of about €200million, construction work took place in several stages over the past three years. For much of the façade of the project’s 49,000 square metres of office space and 7,500 square metres of retail space, Penta selected Guardian SunGuard SN 40/23.

The glass’ multifunctional coating reduces the need for artificial light and offers excellent solar protection and thermal insulation,which played a role in the project’s multiple awards. The Florentinum has earned the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum Award, the highest possible green building certification. It also won, among other honors, the 2014 Central & Eastern European Real Estate Quality Award for “best office development” in that region.

And then there’s the landmark Hilton Istanbul Bomonti Hotel & Conference Center, the Turkish city’s largest hotel, in its Sisli district. The hotel is adjacent to the former Bomonti Beer Factory, an iconic building of significant heritage in its own right, which is being restored to become the focal point of a new visitor hub with extensive entertainment, dining and retail facilities, plus a museum and arts center.

Since the hotel’s opening in 2013, guests have been able to look through Guardian SunGuard SN 50/32 glass and see spectacular views across the European border to Asia. This Hilton ranks as one of the 10 largest city hotels in Europe.

Heading down south, in Bergamo, Italy, Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP designed the Italcementii.lab, a V-shaped laboratory building that serves as the research and development center for concrete maker Italcementi. The “public” and “private” halves of the building hinge on a double-height entrance foyer, within which a long, elegant ramp allows circulation between floors.

Citing the key role that glass plays in the design, the architect’s website states: “The building’s defining quality is daylight …”.

Clad with Guardian SunGuard SuperNeutral SN 51/28 glass, the Italcementi i.lab attained the first LEED Platinum accreditation in Italy, and “aspires to be a benchmark of sustainable design in Europe,” according to Richard Meier & Partners.

Our last example is the Galeria Warminska shopping centre in Olsztyn, Poland – a modern, multifunctional, two-storey, mixed-use complex that includes commercial, retail, leisure and entertainment. In an area of some 110,000 square metres, there are 170 shops, as well as cafes and restaurants, and a cinema, amphitheatre, bowling alley and fitness centre.

Construction began in early 2013, and a modernistic, web-like, rigid structure arose, providing a futuristic façade encasing the glass. The project’s creators strategically used three different grades of Guardian High Selective SunGuard SuperNeutral glass –SN 70/37, SN 70/41 and SN 40/23.

It’s clear that architects and developers across Europe have come to recognise that when they want to make a statement, or create environmentally friendly commercial, retail and office spaces, they have a wealth of glass options from Guardian®. The key benefits of the Guardian SunGuard SuperNeutral glass series can be summed up briefly as follows:

  • Excellent selectivity: combining high solar protection with a high light transmission;
  • Sophisticated neutral reflected and transmitted colour, with available matching spandrel;
  • Solutions for nearly all requirements in curtain walls, glass roofs or large-scale windows;
  • Available on laminated glass for safety, security and acoustic applications;
  • Heat-treatable and annealed glass with matching appearance;
  • Produced on Guardian ExtraClear® and also available on Guardian UltraClearTM float glass, upon request.

From “Cheesegraters” to “Think Tanks” to luxury Hilton hotels, today’s highly advanced glass products are enabling innovative building designs that not only are visually distinctive and memorable but also are capable of providing superior comfort and environmental performance.

For more information on Guardian SunGuard glass, please visit

Florentinum, Prague Galeria Warminska 2 Galeria Warminska 3 Hilton_Bomonti_1 Hilton_Bomonti_2 HQ_Posten_Sweden (1) Italy, I-Lab 060 The Cheesegrater_Leadenhall


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