Thursday 23rd August, 2018
With summertime well and truly under way, many of us have been heading to the coast – at home and abroad – to soak up the sun, sand and sea. A commonplace but often unnoticed feature of coastal holidays is the glass balustrade.
Glass balustrades can be found along coastal walkways, on holiday apartment balconies and at the poolside. They have multiple purposes, the most important of which is reducing the possibility of a person falling over an edge. But glass balustrades can be so much more than functional, they can enhance a building’s aesthetic, open up interior spaces with clean lines and extra light, and create a modern style to a space.
A balustrade is a railing supported by balusters (a set of posts), especially one forming an ornamental parapet to a balcony, bridge or terrace. They have internal and external applications within both residential and commercial spaces. They come in a variety of shapes and materials for both decorative and practical purposes. Glass is a particularly effective and popular material for use in balustrades. Glass balustrade systems can be frameless or comprise vertical posts and glass, with or without a top rail. Glass used can be transparent glass, tinted glass or frosted glass – the latter two glass types adding an element of privacy. A glass staircase balustrade will create an uncluttered and spacious feel, suited to both modern and traditional buildings. External glass balustrades maintain an open, uninterrupted vista to the views beyond. Glass will not deflect from the design or beauty of a buildings’ aesthetic and can offer a degree of wind protection which is particularly important in coastal areas. Toughened glass is used in glass balustrades for reasons of durability and to ensure that they can withstand strong winds and high temperatures.
Tufwell Glass has successfully installed glass balustrades on multiple commercial projects, including structural glazed guarding screens incorporating steel base sections. For example, Tufwell installed a stylish new glass balustrade system for the ramp at Leicester Railway Station’s main entrance as part of its major refurbishment in 2017. Using 10mm toughened glass panels supported by a stainless-steel structure, the finished product had a contemporary appearance with the added benefits of durability, strength and flexible accessibility.