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IQ were called upon to install a home for one client’s private collection of haute couture, designer dresses. Working with Bernard Stilwell Architects, IQ created a bespoke solution tailored to the project’s unusual requirements.

Collections such as these are fragile and become vulnerable when kept in the wrong conditions, they require special storage conditions. The brief was for the space to be safe yet easily accessible, with room for possible expansion in the future.

The proposal was to create a glazed link from a previously forgotten, unused area of the large home. Instead of a functional but basic storage box being inserted, the available space was utilised and a previously ignored lightwell was transformed into a bright space, linking the new extension with the main home.

Frameless glass roof box used to store historic dresses
frameless glass box in courtayrdframeless glass walls

One of the conditions required for the artefacts was a sealed environment, for this requirement IQ used structural silicone to ensure the extension was completely airtight.

Another main requirement was for the storage room to be weather controlled and completely humidity proof. With the use of high quality, highly thermally performing glass IQ were able to provide a temperature-controlled space. The structural glass was manufactured with solar control coatings, to control solar gain, guaranteeing the internal temperatures were controlled at all times.

The glass was stepped over the external frame and steel fixings, offering a flush, almost invisible exterior finish. The glazed link acted as a natural light source as well as connecting the double glazed glass box unit to the main house.

The link used bespoke pivot doors, constructed with slim aluminium frames, to allow access to the areas around the glass link whilst offering a sleek, cohesive design.

glass link between building and glass boxexternal view of glass box

Inside the glass box extension, the haute couture items were stored in a clever way, incorporating glazed elements throughout. This included a series of decorative glass beams, designed and installed by IQ, working on a sliding system.

The sliding system allowed the clothing to be stored in a uniformed fashion whilst being accessible, each row being able to slide out and then away if required.

On each beam there was LED lights in a strip formation, creating a decorative feature out of the glass whilst enhancing the interior design and viewability of the designer dresses.

The coatings and finishes of the glass used for this extension resulted in an insulated glazed unit, the ideal environment for the client achieved through various glass technologies.

LED light up glass beams