SAS International supplied their linear Tubeline ceiling system to help realise the striking design envisioned by Marks Barfield Architects for the new Gateway Pavilions project in Greenwich.

The eye-catching new Gateway Pavilions is the first completed project in Knight Dragon's ambitious vision for the Greenwich Peninsula. Described as taking a marketing suite to a whole new level, the Pavilions act as a 'shop window' to the seven million people who visit Greenwich. The design brief also sought a high quality building feature for this emerging part of east London, which could act as an exhibition and event space, and a destination in its own right.

Gemma Collins, Director at Marks Barfield Architects, explained that they required a high quality product and a company willing to collaborate in order for their idea to develop from concept to finished product. She observed that SAS International was open to pushing the parameters of its product, testing the complex geometry required and exploring the manufacturing process through a series of mock-ups, allowing the architects to satisfy themselves that the product could be used in a new way to help them achieve their vision, while maximising the efficiency of materials.

The ceiling not only spans two curved glass pavilions externally but is also expressed internally, forming a distinctive, highly-visible feature in the double height space.

Working alongside Marks Barfield Architects and the main contractor Wates on the bold design, SAS International knew that the highly detailed and bespoke nature of the project meant there were a number of design complexities to be overcome. The initial challenge was to develop a ceiling solution that could span the curve. SAS International worked closely with the project design team to evolve its popular linear Tubeline ceiling system to meet the brief.

SAS International manufactured a Curved Tubeline solution as well as a modular plate to mount to the internal walls to precisely follow the curve of the building core. The alternating vertical tubes and oak slats were mounted into individually located recesses in the curve plate to hold their exact position, with the horizontal tubes radiating outwards.

Since an acoustic treatment was also important for the interior, acoustic absorption materials were mounted first onto the soffits of the building's interior, before the tubes were installed on the strut channel grid. The metal tubes and the black fly mesh used for the exterior were also carefully suspended using a brand new concealed bracket to suspend the tubes away from the mesh and cope with the high wind loads. SAS International used a rapid 3D prototyping method to create the bespoke fixing bracket.

A product mock-up was installed at SAS International's Reading base so that Marks Barfield Architects could see exactly how the Curved Tubeline ceiling system would work. A mock-up was also constructed to show how the concealed fly mesh specified for the exterior would look.

The ability to meet both the form and function of the design was the main reason SAS International was chosen for the project.