Media City

Client:   Peel Holdings

Contractor:   Bouygues

Architect:   AHR Architects

Location:   Salford, Manchester

Balconies:   380 Cassettes®

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Media City required the supply of 380 Glide-On™ balconies for Peel Holdings.  The key objective was to work with the development architects, AHR Architects, to ensure that the architectural vision was protected and retained in the final built solution.  Key to delivering the vision of this riverside development was being able to create beautiful balconies which met budget.


In order to be able to deliver balconies that retained the architectural vision of Media City within budget, Sapphire worked closely with AHR Architects and the cost consultants.  Working in tandem allowed Sapphire to produce CAD drawings and provide decking samples for the architects and cost consultants to assist decision making and product selection.  The result of working closely with the architects and cost consultants meant the client had a buildable, agreed solution from the supply chain which met the original design intent.

Working closely enabled the balconies to retain the original design aesthetics, still incorporating the Glide-On™ balcony benefits, yet value-engineered to minimise cost. This met a second cost feasibility study and meant a final solution was devised for the client with buy-in from architects, contractor and cost consultants.

Installation Process

Step 1: Sapphire visited AHR architects to understand the vision and start a collaborative design approach. Following this, Sapphire provided drawings, samples and visuals to assist the decision making. Prior to selection a team visited a nearby site in Manchester to watch a Sapphire accredited installer installing 34 balconies that day.

Step 2: To ensure a Rigid and bounce-free balcony this scheme used Sapphire’s cast-in anchors to provide a thermal break backed with Sapphire’s Rigid guarantee of L/360 (half the deflection of BS EN Limits). Brackets were cast-in with stub brackets which enable mast climbers to pass by yet enable the climbers to be fixed to these without penetrating the facade twice. Web infills were provided for ease of façade waterproofing.

Step 3: Off-site production at Thetford enabled the factory finished Cassette® balconies to be manufactured in a flow custom-built for efficient and quality controlled balcony production line. Once produced, balconies are transferred to storage until site program is ready for delivery to site. Each balcony is stored fully complete and Ready.

Step 4: Fin walls were attached to the balconies before being craned into position. Once lifted into position, the Cassettes® simply Glide-On™ to the support arms, before completing the simple mechanical fixings.

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