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Farnborough Air Traffic Control Tower

View up the tower

View of the tower from inside the hangars
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Farnborough Air Traffic Control Tower, UK


"One of the most impressive aspects of MEROs involvement was that with such attention to detail at design stage, the cladding went up without a hitch. In all honesty MSUKs site team just turned up and got on with the job, requiring the absolute minimum of input from myself and my colleagues. The building still looks fantastic and thanks to MERO-SCHMIDLIN we were able to complete this very challenging project within the clients budget and timeframe."
Luke Zuber, 3D Reid Architects

The Air Traffic Control Tower at Farnborough Airport is the first of a series of landmark buildings to be erected at the airport as part of it’s conversion from a military to a commercial business airport jetting people to and from Europe.

Designed to be functional, visually unique, yet affordable, the control room sits at the top of the funnel tower, whilst flight staff and services occupy the base building beneath. MERO were tasked with the design, manufacture and erection of the 34m high funnel tower cladding complete with glazed stairwell, lift shaft and observation balcony. MERO also provided the unique cloak feature that blends the roof of the base building into the tower.

For the unusual yet effective finish, an aluminium rainscreen system was used in an interlocking, mill finish, diamond shingle formation. By varying the overall shingle size, and the overlap between, the shingles are able to form the complex geometry evident at the head of the funnel and the cloak beneath. Horizontal steel rings of varying radii positioned around the concrete tower core provided the primary structure, with a galvalume substructure and waterproofing membrane spanning between rings and supporting the shingle over cladding.

The cloak cladding was supported on a frame of tubes curved in multiple axes to produce the toroidal form.

The glazed lift shaft to the front of the tower, and the glazed stairwell to the rear of the tower, utilized point fixed laminated glass with a screen-printed frit pattern to give the banding feature. The rooflight in the base building at the foot of the stairwell featured glazing panels mounted directly on the primary steelwork with flush silicon joints and small patch fittings to prevent uplift of the panels

Download a 4pp PDF Case Study

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Project Title:
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Farnborough Airport Air Traffic Control Tower
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_ Scope of Works: Design, analysis, manufacture and installation of tower and cloak cladding, structural steelwork and glazing.
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_ Cladding Details:

503m 0.7mm thick mill finish aluminium “falzonal” shingle rainscreen cladding on 1.2mm thick galvalume sheet substructure with 1.5mm thick water vapour barrier.
157m 12mm toughened and heat soak tested float glass with internal white (RAL9010) frit (lift shaft and stair tower).
12m Insulating Glass Units comprising 12.8mm outer laminated float with California series XIR pvb interlayer + 12mm air gap + 8.8mm inner laminated low E float (rooflight).9m 10mm toughened heat soak tested float (viewing balcony).
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_ Steelwork Details: 20 tonnes (16 tonnes to tower, 4 tonnes to cloak) Grade 275 steel sections shotblast & painted finish (RAL9010 to tower, RAL 9007 to cloak).
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_ Year of Completion: 2002
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_ Contract Duration: 14 months
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_ Client: TAG Farnborough Airport Ltd.
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M_ERO UK Architect: Geoffrey Reid Associates (now Reid Architecture).
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_ Main Contractor: Bovis Lend Lease
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_ MERO-SCHMIDLIN (UK) PLC 2006-2010

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