The Hiscox Building, York

Creating an iconic office building for insurance company Hiscox

VS-1 curtain walling provided the ideal solution for a curved glass facade, complemented by aluminium windows and doors and additional roof terrace curtain walling. 


Make Architects’ brief was to design a bespoke office which reflects the character of the Hiscox business and delivers high-quality contemporary design within York’s rich architectural heritage. Located adjacent to the Grade II* listed early-17th Century Black Swan public house, The Hiscox Building will establish a new focal point for the Hungate area of the city. 

The spectacular four-storey building will house up to 500 employees in a dynamic working environment with open, flexible floor space. The light airy interior effect is created by the extensive use of  VS-1 curtain walling. This combines with a cantilevered concrete frame and undulating woven brickwork façade to provide a workspace which fosters creativity and collaboration.


Glassolutions supplied and installed the curtain walling structure for main contractor BAM Construction as part of a £1.8 million contract. VS-1 is a new type of curtain wall which holds the glass away from the mullion so the glass wall visually ‘floats’. In this project, the mullions are fixed back directly to primary structural columns without the use of obtrusive bolt fixings or transoms.
The installation at The Hiscox Building in York features Wicona curtain walling to the punch hole windows and louvres, roof terrace curtain wall, a bespoke structurally bonded rooflight and Glassolutions' patented VS-1 glazing system to form the main atria screen and terrace parapet.

The VS-1 system façade is articulated with both convex and concave curved insulated units, the largest of which is 2.0m wide x 4.2m high. The argon filled laminated heat strengthened units have high performance coatings to limit solar gain, achieving g-values as low as 0.34. To meet internal thermal comfort targets, glass units with centre pane u-values of 1.1 W/m2K have been used. Combined with the thermally efficient frames, this creates screens with weighted average U-values of 1.3 W/m2K.


SECTOR Contracting

Conception, engineering and installation of glazed façades and building envelopes.

“The building has been designed to complement York's rich architectural heritage whilst providing a new home for Hiscox in the heart of the city. It has been a fantastic collaboration between York, Hiscox, the designers and contractors – each contributing to a building which conveys a sense of joy from both inside and out. The incorporation of VS-1 into the design creates a light and airy space and reinforces the openness and the friendly face of Hiscox.”

Make Architects’ Jason Parker, partner and the project lead architect

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