Soul Apartments, Surfers Paradise

Soul tower, Surfers Paradise - Balustrades, sliding doors and fixed windowsSoul Apartments were constructed at an exclusive location by the water at the heart of Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. The tower reaches 77 storeys, including 2 levels of commercial premises at the base, one level of leisure facilities for the resident population and the tower above devoted to lifestyle apartments.

The 243m high building was designed by DBI Design PL and built by Grocon, under the direction of the Juniper Group.  The tower is situated at the end of Cavill Avenue – the popular shopping strip at Surfers Paradise. G.James Glass & Aluminium won the contract to supply the design, fabrication and installation of the glazing – including windows, doors, louvres, curtain wall, sun blades and balustrades.

The Residential Tower Facade

The residential tower consists of 288 apartments with a variety of glazing types – a curtain wall face, balconies with sliding doors and windows. The sheer curtain wall façade was produced using the 650 Series glazing system, and fitted between the concrete support columns. Sky blue laminated glass contrasts well with the white columns in the marine setting.  The majority of the project’s extrusions were powder coated (finished) in Eternity Steel – a dark finish that blended into the shadow lines.

The balcony glazing utilizes the 445 Series sliding doors, 450 Series fixed windows and 415 Series louvres. The balustrading for the tower was done with 571 Series. At the top of the building, the shape of the balustrade glass was raked from level 60 and above to support the curved aspect. The raked balustrades required special layouts and bracketry specific to the level they are installed on to make the curve regular.

The tower colour scheme contrasts vivid blue sections with predominantly white areas.  The blue areas were created using sky blue glass, the same as the sheer wall. The white areas use a Cool Grey glass. The Balustrades match the colour coding of the area they fall in, and intensify the look with a reflective coating.

Sun blades are installed on the upper portion of the tower.  The south face at the sub penthouse level has large angular alpolic blades fitted to the Juliet balconies, creating a visual feature and angled to block harsh glare.

Commercial Levels

On the lower commercial levels, 3 floors high, G.James supplied the ceramic printed toughened glass (installed by others) and balustrading. The ceramic printed toughened glass for the awnings has a creeping fern pattern.  The 571 Series balustrades for the first 3 floors were internal and external, and include the the shopping plaza. 

QuickAlly Access

QuickAlly Access Solutions (a G.James business) supplied scaffolding to replace damaged balustrade, recently.  The affected glazing occured on level 6 and level 75.  Both balustrade glazing occur on balconies with limited space to provide a cantilever, so solutions were suggested and engineered to find the best approach. Ladder beams and other Systems Scaffold products were used for a suspended platform to provide safe access to the high risk heights.

The Effect

The glazing on this project makes a stunning impression from inside and out, and could not be accomplished without a high level of design and coordination. It was a great opportunity to contribute to an iconic building.

Interactive Map: Building Brisbane

Brisbane construction projects by G.James Glass & Aluminium

Brisbane, being the location of our Head Office, sees many fine examples of G.James workmanship.   Here, we outline some of the biggest and best projects undertaken to showcase our capabilities in recent times.

The interactive map is designed so you can take a tour of some of our most recent and notable works.  Either at your desk looking out a CBD window, taking a stroll around town, and driving past a building or through an area you have always wanted to know more about.


G.James has contributed widely to what Brisbane looks like today.   There are buildings that have added to Brisbane’s sky line and to the diversity of looks and uses that are designed for the various parts of this fair city.  On some buildings, there are unique features that make them distinctive.  For example –

  • the ribbons of M&A,
  • the splash of red across the Australian Federal Police building,
  • the glass wall of Sir Samuel Griffith Centre,
  • the towering Aurora and Riparian plaza.

There are many buildings that have achieved the coveted green star energy efficient design,  some interesting artwork on glass designed by local artists – its worth a visit to the Anthropology Museum at UQ to see the ceramic printed window alone. Some of the buildings have specialised glass systems to suit the works being done, like the Translational Research Institute and the ABC headquarters.

There are projects that have altered the face of a tired old façade, so if you look at an old image of QIMR, you won’t recognize it.  And then theres the Suncorp Stadium which gives you a glimpse inside a place where state pride and competition is on the line.

The Interactive Map

The map is aimed to give you a glimpse into the depth the G.James knowledge base and provide an overview of the types of works that G.James is capable of.  It highlights projects done by various departments in the company, including:

  • Commercial departments
  • Residential departments
  • Gossi park and street furniture
  • Glass department

You can have a look at the map and plan out a scenic drive, or target specific jobs, or just get an idea of what we have produced, in your area.  As you can imagine, there are too many jobs to make this an all-inclusive list, but we aimed to include a range of jobs reflecting different styles and features.

A brief dossier on the project is included – a photo of what to look for, basic job data and links to further information on the project.  G.James can help you with any further information required for the jobs represented.

Explore Here…

Enjoy the exploration, and keep an eye on this space. Other areas will be released as our database of projects rolls out – Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast, as well as other areas to be where you can find G.James fingerprints…

Until then, enjoy this insight into the River City.


 G.James Projects

 Gossi Designs

51 Alfred St – Efficiency in commercial design

51 Alfred St A green star accredited office block constructed in one of Brisbane’s growing commercial areas, 51 Alfred St comprises of a ground floor retail space with 8 levels of office space above.

51 Alfred St, Fortitude valley was constructed by Blackwatch Projects, to the design of Willis Greenhalgh Architects. The sustainable design intended to minimise its carbon footprint was a urban friendly solution to council and the community. It includes a smart foyer, featuring floor to ceiling full height glazing on two street frontages, and superb views to the city above level 2.

G.James Role

Development of the project went from initial “design in principle” early drawings to installation of the finalised glazing products. The project had a short time frame, and lead times for manufacture and installation had to be carefully managed.

The building incorporates shopfront glazing from ground floor to level 1 that used the 850-500 and 650-500 series framing systems. Hinged doors are 475 or 476 series, with 445 series sliding doors (as on some upper levels, also). G.James picked up the cladding package for the ground floor columns, which was made and fitted by the G.James Joinery department. QuickAlly, G.James scaffolding division assisted with providing access to entry the shop front entry glazing.

Upper levels utilizes the 651-500 curtain wall suite. The design had to allow for the addition of randomly placed aluminium horizontal and vertical fins that use different shapes in keeping with the difference in direction. There are also composite cladding positioned irregularly across the southern face, and frames the edge of the eastern face.

All of the differences in cladding and sun shading incorporated into the curtain wall, made for a wide variety of specialist panels.  This required coordinating the transportation and installation of the panels to be highly organised. Careful design, preparation and on site works were given particular attention at the corner feature to achieve the seamless angled cladding and glazed finish that spans the full height of the buildings office area.

Glazing selection

IGU’s were used in the vision areas of the tower to combat city noise and provide sufficient thermal and solar efficiency to achieve the green star accreditation.

The spandrel area uses a colourlite backing on clear glass to achieve the opaque finish. Charcoal and White were used to keep in theme with the buildings monochromatic scheme that highlights the slash of copper that makes the corner feature stand out.


There was no tower crane available for this job, so all of the framing hoisted into the floors from a crane on the street below.  Including the “Spider Hulk”, the name of the lifting crane that positions the panels into place.

51 Alfred St

“Spider Hulk” is the name of the machine that lifts the panels into position on the building.

Early design intended the framing to be fixed into cast ins – a quick and minimal fixing method that utilizes the concrete structure to enclose and support the framing. Later changes, however, meant that the frame fixings were redesigned and engineered to be fitted with bolts into the concrete.

The ground floor was site glazed as the size of the glazing was so large. There was also a curtain wall panel that needed to be site glazed. This requires extra safety measures and some specialised techniques to carry out.

Blackwatch had a tight program which was run like clockwork. It enabled overall job satisfaction with the resulting installation of the work performed by G.James, and we look forward to working on further projects together.

Project Update: Queensland Institute of Medical Research

QIMR Herston Rd Entrance

Transforming an existing medical research facility in Herston, QLD to align with the surrounding complex.

Queensland Institute of Medical Research Phase 3, or QIMR ph. 3, is the refurbishment of the Bancroft Centre. It is located just outside Brisbane’s CBD next to the Royal Brisbane Women’s Hospital.

The Bancroft Centre, owned by QIMR  is contracted to be built by Watpac. The project is designed by a joint architectural venture between Wilson and Wardle architects.

G.James’ Role

This project initiated as a design and documentation contract, in which G.James were required to advise and recommend the design of glazing works, survey the existing building and detail the information via formal drawings. Due to the positive contributions and coordination of this aspect of the project, G.James were awarded stage 2 – the supply and install of the glazing works.

The Bancroft Centre

The Bancroft Centre is a 14 storey concrete building with feature beams and columns criss crossing the building dividing up the individual windows and balconies spread across the elevations. At ground level, a large lobby window and sub station louvre is also part of the upgrade.

The medical research undertaken at the centre is highly sensitive. In the pursuit of the solutions being investigated, the building will be partially occupied by the client throughout the construction process. This will affect parts or entire floors at different stages. Close coordination of on site works, monitoring clients requirements and ensuring safety for all, dictates progress.

External Refurbish

The basic concrete structure remains, with the southern concrete face being removed and extended out towards Herston Road. The extensions are supported by a grid work of steel with concrete platforms. The face lift is to extend down the western side to the existing balconies and on the eastern side to the recently erected QIMR central building.

The architectural intent is to create a look that reflects the existing Clive Berghofer Cancer Research Centre (CBCRC) located on the other side of the QIMR central building. To do this:

  • The main façade on the curtain wall is being replicated as much as possible.
  • The visible rendered sheer walls are being covered with Alpolic cladding to wrap around to the front of the balconies and underside of the soffits in a similar fashion to the CBCRC building.
  • Glazing in the balconies and lobby were replaced to reflect the more natural colour scheme and full height layout of the CBCRC.
  • Louvres are being modernised and/or introduced to cope with the needs of the buildings updated research capacity, the design of which is in keeping with the other QIMR buildings.

G.James has followed stringent processing and approval of the glazing samples and design to ensure these principles are followed adequately.

Design: Energy and Acoustic Efficiency

Renovations on old buildings require them to be upgraded to meet the latest energy efficient guidelines. To accomplish this, the Bancroft refurbishment required higher performing windows than the original.  Another important design element to consider was that the Bancroft Centre is situated at what is now one of Brisbane’s busiest intersections.

Fronting onto Herston Road, a stones throw from Bowen Bridge Road, bus ways and the Inner City Bypass, shows the heightened necessity for acoustic protection.

The main curtain wall façade utilises the 651 series with highly efficient IGU’s made from Solarplus engineered glass with an acoustic laminate internally to assist with noise deadening. The visible features of the curtain wall replicate that of its neighbour providing a plaid pattern of greens and silver that provide the desired sister building effect.

The balconies use 450 framing with 475 door systems for the balconies’ hinged and sliding doors. A custom solution was introduced with laminated glass incorporating a thick 1.14mm acoustic laminate and energy tech inner lite working together for maximum efficiency and sound protection.

An environmental advantage to being involved in the design of the cladding, minimised the wastage by designing the cladding widths to suit what was commercially available. Approximately 85% of the panels could be made to their natural width.

Unusual Design Elements

The lobby or main entry spans a height of two stories. It has concrete features penetrating through the facade. This required some innovative design to incorporate these obstacles while maintaining the ability to replace the existing framing in a short turn around of a week. 650 framing was used in the lobby to achieve this.

The curtain wall is usually lifted into place by a mini crane positioned on the building.  It is dedicated to the curtain wall install.  On QIMR however, a tower crane had been fitted on site to accommodate phase 2 construction, and is also being used for phase 3.  This meant that fixing the curtain wall had to be timed in between other site deliveries and other uses required of the crane.

This has been a unique project with G.James contributing very early in the design process to assist in setting our the buildings requirements for our own and adjacent works. The achievements so far have culminated with smooth progression though out the project with the mutual assistance and close coordination between Watpac and G.James.

Looking ahead

G.James role at the Bancroft Centre is to be finalised approximately mid 2013, and the entire project to be competed by mid 2014. Tours of the QIMR facilities are available to the public. You can book a tour on the QIMR website.

UTS Broadway – Visual Mockup & Prototype Testing

UTS Facade Mockup - differente angle

This stunning building juts across the skyline.

Image courtesy of Architects:
Denton Corker Marshall Pty Ltd.

About UTS Broadway

G.James has been working towards readiness to install the facade since winning the job last year. Recently G.James has been conducting tests using full scale mockups of sections of the façade to test both the appearance and function of the façade.

Visual Mockup

The visual mockup stands 7.6 metres tall and 6.8m metres wide, each panel is 3.8 x 1.4 metres &  weighs approximately 290kg. The aluminium screens for each panel weigh an additional ~90kg. The completed façade will be somewhat larger than our mockup – standing a full 14 stories tall. The visual mockup is for testing the appearance only – the actual facade (as well as the prototype for engineering tests) uses extrusions purpose made for the UTS project – around 30 new extrusion dies have been made to produce the extrusions for the this project.

What do we do with the mockup after we’re finished?

The visual mockup will remain on site until the mockup rig is needed for a few project. G.James typically creates a similar mockup for a new project every couple of months.

Engineering Tests

G.James has also created a prototype on our engineering test rig to carry out a range of engineering tests. The test setup is a sealed chamber, with the external side of the facade mockup covering the ‘open’ side. The chamber contains jets to spray water, and pumps in/out air to increase or decrease the pressure in the chamber. The tests conducted measure the performance of the facade under both positive and negative pressures, as well as against the penetration of water.

Positive pressure vs. Neutral pressure

Static Pressure Structural Testing

This test measures deflection at various points of the facade using potentiometers fixed to a frame parallel to the internal face of the facade. The deflection is measured under both positive and negative static pressures, across a range up to the test maximums. These pressures simulate the loading the facade will receive from wind. The pressures used for the test differ from project to project, and are determined with a site analysis by engineers. Deflection must stay within certain bounds to meet Australian standards – though these vary on the exact makeup of the facade. In the photograph to the right the deflection of the glass in a structural test results in distortion of the reflection in the glass (comparison against neutral pressure below).

Static Pressure – Air Infiltration

Air infiltration rate measures the amount of air penetrating the facade at a given pressure. This is necessary to determine air conditioning requirements for the building – the amount of air infiltration has a large effect on the efficiency of the building.  The amount of air infiltration is measured by pressurizing the chamber, whilst a plate with a hole of known size is fitted in the chamber. The rate of air flow out of the pressurized chamber is then measured. The facade face is then completely sealed off with plastic, and the flow of air is  re-measured. The difference between the two measurements is the amount of air that was penetrating the facade.  This test carried out with both negative and positive pressures. The rate of air infiltration must be within certain bounds to meet Australian standards.

Water Penetration

Water penetration tests spray water onto the surface of the facade at a rate of 3L/m2/minute. Tests are conducted with a range of constant pressures applied to the chamber, and also with a range cyclic pressures as the water is sprayed. Water penetration is not quantitatively measured, the cause of any leaks found must be rectified.

Façade installation commencing soon

G.James is anticipating starting on site at UTS Broadway in the first quarter of 2013.

Newington College – Sesquicentenary Building Project

The new curtain wall at Newington College

G.James has recently finished work on the Sesquicentenary Building Project at Newington College in Bankstown, Sydney. The bulk of this project comprises two new combined buildings – The Lawrence Pyke Science Centre and The Tony Rae Resources Centre Library. The project was designed by Budden Nangle Michael & Hudson Architects, and builder A W Edwards was contracted to construct it.

Foyer to the building.G.James’ work on the project comprised the design, supply and installation of windows, doors, curtain walls, glass walls, glass canopies, a glass greenhouse, aluminium cappings and soffits– utilising our 850-500, 651, 451, 475 and 476 Series frames. Jockey sashes from our 150 Series were required for most windows, and some windows also featured curved heads. G.James’ Sydney Commercial Façades division carried out the work on this project.

Noise Reduction

Acoustic laminate was used extensively throughout the project to minimise disruption to classes from external noise. Typically 12.76mm acoustic laminated glass was used externally and 10.76mm clear Low E coated ccoustic laminated glass was used internally in jockey sashes and internal skins. This was an important consideration as Newington College sits directly below the approach flight path into Sydney Airport with approaching aircraft flying very low directly above the school.

Curtain Wall Glazing

Curtain wall glazing.Four “curtain wall” sections were defined by the Architect and included in G.James’ scope of work. Two of these were fabricated as 850-500 Series structural glazed curtain walls. The Stair glazing used the 850-500 Series structural glazed frame as a window wall fitted between steel horizontal supports. Coloured back glass was used to infill between the frames and hide the steel. Jockey sashes and secondary frames were used behind these frames to create large cavities for acoustics. On one curtain wall an additional 850 Series frame was used as an internal frame to provide the nominated 400mm airspace.

Dual skinned Curtain Wall

The most prominent feature of the building is the final curtain wall  – pictured at the top of this post. This is a dual skinned arrangement with the outer skin built out from the building by a metre with three horizontal steel trusses. The glazed height of this wall is approximately 9.4m and is glazed with pieces of glass each approximately 4.7 m high by 2m wide – weighing a hefty 300Kg. This glass is supported by glazing channels top and bottom, and also by 15mm annealed glass fins vertically. The internal glazing skin comprises G.James’ 450 Series frame fitted with the flush face to the inside and incorporating jockey sashes fitted in-line with the fixed glass for access and maintenance. The metre wide cavity between the glass is ventilated and includes 600 mm wide horizontal and vertical automated tracking sun shades installed into this space by another contractor.

G.James has also supplied and installed soffit linings below this glazing, metre wide cappings over the cavity, and also to the other curtain walls. Several glazed awnings and a glazed greenhouse were also completed.

Official Opening

The buildings will be officially opened in July as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations at Newington College.

Our Bundaberg office gets a new façade

Our Bundaberg office has been transformed with the use of our latest colour printing on glass technology. Over the last few months we have covered the topic of digital ceramic glass printing several times on this website. Our Bundaberg office located at  49/51 Enterprise Street, Bundaberg was due for a refurbishment, so G.James decided to put our printing capabilities to use creating a vibrant new façade for the building.

The Bundaberg Branch

The Bundaberg Branch was established in 1972 and is where former branch manager Geoff Thorne started his career with G.James. When Geoff retired in August 2012 he reflected on his time at G.James saying “When I started at G.James, this building was the best looking building in the street. Now that I am retiring, the building is again the best looking in the street”.

The Branch is now managed by Robert Astill and continues to service Bundaberg, Wide Bay & southern sector of central QLD.

The transformation

G.James Bundaberg Branch (Before)

The old office building was in need of refurbishment after many years of use. The new sales office and showroom features a fully glazed façade with glass spandrels ceramic printed with a full colour representation of the lush sugar cane that is common in the Bundaberg region. The façade fits with the character of the area, and puts a striking face on our sales office. Sunshades were also installed above the vision glass around the building, to help keep the north facing building cool.

The process

The first step was to find a suitable image for the building. The Bundaberg staff were involved in selecting an image they would be happy to have on their office building. It was important to include the staff in the decision to make sure we created a building they were happy to tell friends and family about, as well as work in.

We selected the sugar cane image below, to be placed on a blue background.

Sugarcane Image

Source image: 68cm wide X 50cm high @ 300dpi (8024px X 5940px @ 300dpi) at full size

The next step was to modify the image to maximise the printed effect over multiple floors. We created a concept render to ensure the image wouldn’t appear too busy or overbearing.

Bundaberg Building Concept Render

47 panels of artwork in total, 15 of those were corner panels

After the concept was complete, the G.James team scaled the image file to suit the CAD drawing of the Façade. This resulted in a very large image file requiring a couple of powerful PCs to do the processing work.

Bundaberg Building CAD Drawing

Bundaberg Building CAD Drawing – The front of the facade is 16.48m x 6.40m, the sides are 5.11m x 6.40m

Image and CAD drawing combined

Image and CAD drawing combined.

Each panel that required printing was then identified. The vision glass panels were excluded and we printed on a total of 47 spandrel glass panels.

Talk of the town

The façade has already attracted significant attention from those passing by, and has transformed our sales office into an exciting and unique advertisement for our business.

Keep your eyes peeled for another exciting transformation in the new year – G.James Cairns.

Who to contact

To find out more, please visit our glass printing gallery, or contact G.James Glass Sales on  (07) 3877 2866. Our Bundaberg office can be reached on (07) 4155 4888.

Project Update: Translational Research Institute (TRI)

Situated on the Princess Alexandra Hospital campus, TRI is an ambitious new building project nearing complection.

The Translational Research Institute (TRI) is an initiative to bring four of the country’s pinnacle research facilities together with to focus on a range of health and research areas including cervical cancer, breast cancer, melanoma, liver and kidney disease, malaria, HIV, osteoporosis, obesity, arthritis and diabetes.

Designed by Wilson Architects and Donovan Hill in conjunction with Aurecon façade consultants, and constructed by Watpac, the TRI building is an ambitious two-year construction project on the Princess Alexandra Hospital campus in Brisbane’s southern suburbs.

A Strong Façade

The building has three main façade styles present in the structure, each with unique solar, thermal, and aesthetic properties and was technically demanding with the different systems that were required to be designed.

The north façade integrates a glass sunshade designed to reduce solar transmission while keeping the views of the city. The courtyard, sheltered from the elements, was designed for ultimate visibility and aesthetic appeal, and the panelled aluminium sides were designed to keep out noise and light while retaining a degree of visibility.

Glass sunshade

Looking north from the TRI facility presents a glazed red view of the city.The striking north façade incorporates a red glass sunshade consisting of 1875 individual pieces to protect the interior from excessive heat from the sun.

Due to the sheer scale of the sunshade, assembling the individual pieces of the façade on-site would be too time-consuming. For this reason each façade panel was assembled at the factory, complete with the external cantilevered glass screen.

The resulting panels, each in excess of three tonnes, were lifted into place with a purpose-built lifting frame and used a specially designed hook-on system to make the installation more manageable. Site installation was required for the glass panels over the vision areas, coming to approximately 850 pieces.

Panelled aluminium façade

The aluminium screens are designed to keep excessive sunlight and noise out of sensitive laboratries.

After Screens

Under the aluminium screens are regular windows.

Before screens

Several styles of panelled aluminium screens adorn the west, east, and south sides of the exterior. These screens are designed to allow inhabitants to see out, but keep sunlight and noise out of the laboratories within.

Due to the nature of the hot dipped, galvanised steel support structure in the curtain wall panels, extra care was required in order to meet the extremely tight tolerance of the aluminium screens. Each individual shelf outrigger supporting the secondary steel work and screens for the east and west façades was individually surveyed in order to correctly detail the support steel and ensure over 850 individual panels could be installed to the tolerances required.

The central atrium

The central courtyard is the centrepiece of the entire project, with views of the area from all sides of the building. The courtyard is ringed with large open areas, meeting rooms, cafe spaces and the main auditorium.

The ground floors all open onto the courtyard, with a large glass stairwell at the very centre.

The lower levels of the façade incorporates low-e glass for high visibility, while spandrels consist of external printed glass — said to resemble culture in a Petri dish. The panels for the vision area were structurally sealed to a custom designed opening without any mullions for support, so a bespoke head system was designed specifically for the project in order to secure the façade.

The steel ring beam basically holds the place up.The central staircase sits in the centre of the courtyard, consisting of a shimmering glass exterior structurally sealed to a steel ring beam and suspended from parapet outriggers on the eighth level.

Each steel ring beam in the staircase is made of three pieces consisting of two ‘C’ sections with a straight connecting member. Each level fixed at four locations to the concrete structure and weighs around four and a half tonnes, including three tonnes of glass.

The stairwell façade was built from the top down and utilised a mobile access plant to install the steel and mast climbers on each face.


The level of technical achievement in this building is impressive. When opened, the facility will house more than 650 researchers, and will have a pilot scale biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility allowing the research, production, clinically testing, and manufacture of drugs and vaccines under the one roof.

At present the front façade is nearly installed, and the project is on track for completion within the next few months. Make sure to sign up for the newsletter for updates on the project, including photos of the finished structure once it’s opened.

Project Update: M&A

McLachlin & Ann
If you live in Brisbane and travel through Fortitude Valley you may have noticed the ongoing development on the Corner of Ann St & James St. Formerly home to a car dealership, Laing O’Rourke are developing three buildings on the site. The 13 storey commercial building featured in this article – designed by Rice Daubney Architects, as well as a mixed-use building and a residential tower.  The commercial building fronts on to Ann st, and G.James are currently working to install the building’s façade.

About the Façade

The coloured & grey panels on the lower levels of the building are glazed with ceramic painted glass. Above this the curtain wall features large IGU panels, and a unique “ribbon” sunshade solution designed by Rice Daubney & fabricated by G.James. G.James is also glazing the shopfronts for the ground floor retail space.

The sunshading is fabricated from perforated aluminium sheet, and supported on extruded aluminium framing which includes true curved extrusions. The horizontal to verical twists ribbon are curved in two axis.  The custom designed framing system incorporates G.James bespoke sunshade fixing detail which allows for support of the sunshades directly off the curtain wall panels.  All attachments of the sunshades to the facade occur outside the external rain-screen line, without any penetrations through the curtain wall panels – mitigating any potential water leaks to the façade.  G.James’ sunshade fixing detail enables easy removal & re-installation of the sunshading devices in the event of glass replacement.  The sunshade fixing detail’s rigid connection to the facade resists the imparted wind loads, and minimal diagonal bracing provides redundant support in the event of a maintenance abseiler standing on the sunshade.

The design of the building features a blade-wall on the tower – originally to be constructed from pre-cast concrete. Design and construction issues however meant that a non-traditional approach was more optimal – G.James developed an engineered solution for the feature blade wall in lightweight composite-aluminium clad panels that cantilever outside the facade by a projection of approximately two and a half metres, and continues up the full height of the tower.

Behind the Scenes

G.James have been working intensively with the Architect, Rice Daubney, to try to turn their vision into reality well before we began work on site. Since September 2011 there have been multiple, full-scale, visual mock-ups prepared by G.James on this project, working closely with the Architects to ensure the fine detailing is achieved.

Check Back for Updates

G.James is continuing to work on the façade, completion of the project is expected to be in early 2013. G.James is also working on the two other buildings in the development – the mixed use building & residential tower, so check back for more updates as the development progresses.

Find out More

For more information on our commercial project capabilities, contact our commercial contracting division. Our monumental projects and louvre and sunshade photo galleries may also be of interest.

Project focus: The Hyde Apartments, Sydney

About The Hyde

Overlooking Sydney’s famed Hyde park, “The Hyde” is now one of Sydney’s most prestigious addresses. The Hyde offers stunning views of Hyde Park itself, as well as views over Sydney Harbour and many of central Sydney’s other landmarks.

The site was formerly home to a medium rise office building constructed in the 1970s, which was demolished to make way for the new residential tower, which is 34 stories tall and contains 131 apartments. The Hyde is also home to one of Sydney’s most expensive penthouses, which is formed by the uppermost two floors of the building.

The Architect and Developer

The Hyde was designed by award winning architects WOHA, and constructed by Grocon for developer Stockland.

WOHA’s approach was to emphasise the site’s advantages, so the north facing façade has been developed as a transparent curtain wall that gives a spectacular backdrop to everyday life.

G.James’ Role

The most visible contribution G.James made to the Hyde is the curtain wall on the north face of the building. The curtain wall uses a mixture of centre pocket & front pocket glazing to add a visual texture to the façade.

The north facing façade is exposed to direct sunlight, so a number of climate control measures were used to mitigate the effect of the sun’s heat. A custom sunshade solution was designed to help shield the building from the sun. Enclosed indoor/outdoor balcony areas were also incorporated into the building, these are able to be opened for ventilation in fair weather.

The front of the building also contains planter boxes, which are planted with climbing vines. The curtain wall on the lower floors integrates a supporting grate structure which protects these boxes, and encourages the vines to grow up the building.

The rear façade features a striking pattern of contrasting shades of grey concrete. Punched windows supplied by G.James are a subtle addition to this face of the building.

On the ground floor, the shopfront uses channel glazed floor to ceiling glass. An internal water feature created the added challenge of interfacing its supporting structure with the shopfront glazing.

G.James’ 445 series sliding doors were used in the apartments, the use of which required an interface between the internal framing for the sliding doors and the curtain wall. This arrangement presented an interesting technical challenge, as the interface had to allow the curtain wall to move independantly of the internal structure (to accomodate factors such as thermal expansion and wind loading), whilst still remaining weather tight and allowing for water drainage.

Making it Happen

Façade Mockup

The Hyde glazing was designed and manufactured from the Brisbane commercial divisions and delivered and fitted in situ by our Sydney branch.  Project management was performed at both ends to assist in the smooth running of the job.

A section of the building was recreated on the G.James prototype testing facility, where a full range of pressure and water tests were completed successfully with a wide range of people involved with its development and testing review, including builders, consultants and engineers.

Although the Hyde provided more than its share of design difficulties, each was overcome in a timely manner to the success of the final product.  Extensive testing was carried out on site to ensure high quality attainment of the design resolutions.

G.James has nearly 40 years experience in construction of large commercial facades and has continually demonstrated its expertise by meeting the the requirements of the ever challenging design aspirations of clients and architects.

Photographs courtesy of Larissa McCollin