Belfast Waterfront

Belfast Waterfront

Architecture studio: TODD Architects

To create a building of such high architectural quality on the riverfront, Brett Martin’s innovative and thermally efficient glazing system, was used to build the eye-catching, 150 meter long colourful façade. The façade, glazed entirely with multiwall polycarbonate panels, has been cleverly designed with a graduated transition of colour along the elevation. The result is a show stopping glazing solution that changes colour depending on how the light hits the building during the day and lights up beautifully when the building is lit at night. Polycarbonate panels have been a key design feature in helping this iconic building create its own identity.

The entire 150 m long riverfront façade of Belfast Waterfront was wrapped with over 1750 m² of multiwall polycarbonate with many panels approximately 14 m in length. The key feature of the polycarbonate system used in this building is the lightweight polycarbonate panel with integral interlocking connections that simply click into place forming glazed areas of unlimited size and shape. For a glazing system which would not only maximise daylight but also offer exceptional air tightness, durability and UV stability, polycarbonate sheets proved the most adaptable solution and ensured a fast and straightforward installation.

The Belfast Waterfront site was constrained by the abutting River Lagan and had a number of contractors working in the same confined area at any one time. With many of the panels at almost 14 m in length, it was important that the material was easily handled and installed. The light weight polycarbonate panels were suitable to be removed from the pallet by hand and the click and fix connection system allowed it to be installed into place with ease.

The colour of the glazing panels for the façade was also a key consideration. Brett Martin created a palate of seven colour samples in a range of tint variations. These were installed at a high level on-site to allow the design team to decide on three completely new colours – petrol, viola and glass green - which were each extruded in two different intensities, creating a graduated flow of colour along the elevation. The use of polycarbonate glazing panels enabled the architect to create a stunning variation in colour and transparency, so that the façade appears to change depending on the time of day and how the light hits the building.


  • Date: 06 Jul, 2016
  • Category: DESIGN
  • Client: Brett Martin