What I specified for: The National Gallery Hub

Roy Buckingham DipGAI RegAI, regional specification development manager at Abloy UK

I was recently involved in the creation of a new office space at the National Gallery, known as The Accommodation Hub, designed by Purcell Architects. The new facility accommodates 250 staff over eight floors, with flexible working requirements. Set within a Grade I listed building, the design brief included fusing the new with the old, while creating an accessible environment.

Access control 

In terms of access control, it was important to manage the movement of people while maintaining compliance with the fire strategy and ensuring the means of escape was not compromised. What’s more, the access control hardware had to blend with the architect’s vision, and match finishes utilised on non-controlled doors. Locking had to suit a variety of different door types too, with FD30 & FD60 fire rated timber doors, glazed doors and automated doors.

Diane Auckland/Fotohaus and Purcell

I specified a bespoke solution to meet the requirements, which included the EL560, EL561, and EL520 Abloy electric locks, with forends refinished to an antique brass finish and installed with Polar 6 Exit Handles compliant to BS EN179, also with an antique brass finish to align with the aesthetics of the environment. In addition, EFF 351M80 Motorised Strike Locks were installed and interfaced with the fire alarm system to
fail unlocked for escape egress on circulation routes.

Collaboration and expertise

The project delivery required close partnering with William Channon Architectural Ironmongers, who provided the full door ironmongery specification to include the Abloy solutions I had specified.

Reg AI status is vital when specifying solutions such as these to ensure competence can be proven and demonstrate knowledge of changing requirements in our industry. I keep up to date with new regulations and standards and I am always aware of current best practice.

In this case, my expertise was required to specify and ensure our electric lock solutions did not compromise the fire safety of the building by ensuring correct and compliant electric locking was utilised.

Purcell Architects was also shortlisted for the 2022 Architectural Journal magazine Retrofit awards in the Listed Building Category for this project. 

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