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|Architect||Sua Kay Architects|
|Railing type||Glass railings|
|Line/Series||Easy Glass Slim|
|Easy Glass 3kN|
In November 2014, Portugal’s prestigious Alegro Setúbal shopping centre was officially opened. An existing hypermarket had been converted into a stunning leisure destination, featuring 114 shops, 20 restaurants, 10 movie theatres and a health club. To ensure maximum comfort and safety for the public, the project developer incorporated state-of-the-art technologies wherever possible. That included interactive digital signage, climate control and a robust, near-invisible glass banister from Q-railing.
The Alegro Setúbal development, worth €110 million, was initiated in 2012. An ambitious expansion of the existing concrete structure was required, as well as new steel roofs and canopies, plus a landmark tower for the main entrance. The shopping centre now covers an area of 137,000 square metres and has more than 2,600 underground parking spaces.
Space and convenience
For Sua Kay Architects, it was of utmost importance to provide a hassle-free shopping environment. In particular, visitors ought to have no problem orienting themselves within the shopping centre and finding their way around. As a result, the architects focused on creating large open spaces that are flooded with natural daylight from a glass ceiling. For an even more relaxed shopping experience, the design incorporated green areas where visitors can meet and socialise.
Safety with a light touch
As a busy public building with 3 storeys, Alegro Setúbal had to meet stringent safety requirements. Sua Kay Architects were determined to do so without sacrificing any of the spacious and airy feel. Selecting the right fall protection for the walkways and mezzanines was therefore crucial for the success of the whole shopping centre.
In their search for an ultra-safe, high-transparency railing solution, Sua Kay Architects quickly identified Q-railing’s Easy Glass Slim glass banister as the ideal solution. It can resist line loads of 1 kN/m but also has a minimal structure look that won’t interrupt light or views. Unobtrusive aluminium and stainless steel cap rails were added for extra safety.
Installation of fall protection and a windbreak
All installation works were carried out by Lisbon-based glazing company Pentagonal. Inside the shopping centre, more than 200 metres of Q-railing’s highly affordable Easy Glass Slim glass banister were installed, along with aluminium and stainless steel cap rails. The result is a safe and a highly transparent barrier for fall protection. Pentagonal also installed a robust Easy Glass 3kN railing outside the building’s east wing to serve as a windbreak.
One year after its opening, Alegro Setúbal had welcomed 8 million visitors, confirming that the project had been a major success. This was recognised at the 2015 Mapic Awards, when it was declared Best Redeveloped Shopping Centre. In the same year, at the Solal Marketing Awards, organised by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), Alegro Setúbal received a silver medal for its ‘Art Everywhere’ campaign.