In November 2017, a brand-new ferry service was launched on the River Thames in London. Designed to serve commuters from the prestigious Circus West development, the River Bus required a new pier in the vicinity of Battersea Power Station. Naval architects Houlder Limited identified our stainless steel posted Square Line 60x30 railing as the best way of adding a safe and attractive balustrade to the structure. 

Battersea Power Station is located on the south side of the River Thames close to the very heart of London. It was decommissioned in 1983, and, after many years of uncertainty, a renovation project began. The plan was to create a self-contained urban village, called Circus West, by 2020. In order to meet new demand for transport, the local authority, working with engineers Burgess Marine, opted to set up a River Bus service and incorporate a pier into the development. 

The design for the pier, created by architects Houlder Limited, consists of a steel bridge and a ramp that brings passengers down to the embarkation point. Both sections were equipped with attractive and robust stainless steel balustrades.

River views and safety
Safety was a key requirement for the balustrades on the bridge and the ramp. For this type of application, UK building regulations demanded a solution that was capable of resisting a uniformly distributed load of 1.5 kN. However, the balustrade also had to provide outstanding aesthetics and maximum transparency. The pier is, after all, located across the river from historic Chelsea, and not far from the famous Houses of Parliament.

After an extensive search for a suitable posted railing, Houlder Limited settled on Q-railing’s Square Line 60x30 system. This product was designed to resist the necessary forces. And with stainless steel posts welded to the pier, plus 10 mm thick toughened glass held by MOD 42 glass clamps, the installation was guaranteed to be totally secure. 

Square Line 60x30 also fulfilled the architect’s aesthetic vision. Its rigorous contemporary look, characterised by crisp lines and bold geometric forms, gives it a striking presence. Moreover, the system’s minimal structure makes for high levels of transparency, which ensures beautiful river views from the pier. 

As a special feature, LED lights from our Q-lights Spotlights series were added to the handrails of the balustrade, providing enhanced safety and a stunning visual effect. 

Pre-fabricated and -fixed arrangements
All in all, we provided a complete solution to the client, Burgess Marine, who had overall responsibility for the project. This included design, fabrication and delivery of 183 m of the posted railing, together with our Q-glass infill and MOD 42 glass clamps. We also pre-milled the handrails to receive the LED lights, and flow drilled and tapped holes into the stainless steel posts to accommodate the glass clamps. Finally, we formed 2 bespoke gates in the 60 x 30 mm tube.

United Kingdom
Houlder Limited / Burgess Marine


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