New York-based architect Steven Holl of Steven Holl Architects chose Okalux panels to achieve a translucent exterior on a new cancer care centre at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London.

Since the new Maggie’s cancer care centre was situated adjacent to the 18th-century stone building of the hospital, the architect decided to install the glazing on the building so that a softened, translucent exterior was revealed during the day, contrasting with its lantern-like appearance at night. This was intentional since Holl sought to distinguish the care centre from the medieval structures that surrounded it.

Holl constructed the enclosure using glass, concrete and bamboo. Unlike the shiny glass facades prevalent in modern-day buildings, the cancer care centre features a matte exterior created using Okalux edged glass. The architecture firm positioned a coloured film between the Okalux panels to create a 21st-century illusion of original stained glass. Additionally, straw-like fibres were slotted between the singular pane cut in two, creating a textured opaqueness from the outside.

By allowing only direct sunlight and coined shadows from the Gibbs building to enter the building, there is a sense of seclusion within the cancer care facility.

Okalux glass panels are available in Australia from Architectural Glass & Cladding.