Odeon Leicester Square
As part of a £300million redevelopment of Leicester Square, the historic 1930's Odeon cinema was upgraded, not only to create the UK's first ever Dolby cinema, including 67 speakers and a 13.3m screen.
The façade of the building also received a facelift in the form of a huge 16.5×4.9m bespoke glass box enclosing the new luxury bar and overlooking Leicester Square.
In a busy public space like Leicester Square, one of the main challenges is access. Clearly, it’s not feasible to close off the whole of Leicester Square, so the site was incredibly tight and manoeuvring the panels, which stood at almost 5m high tested our glass handling expertise to the limit.
Moreover, the project was on a tight timescale, with an anticipated deadline of October 2018 for completion in time for the BFI London Film Festival. While we completed our works on time (and on budget), the deadline was missed due to the interiors not being finished in time.
Safety is always a factor in public spaces, but being such a high-profile venue, for the Leicester Square Odeon, we had to go one step further than usual with bomb-resistant glazing. We used two 13.5mm thick PVB-laminated heat strengthened panels for the vertical panels for increased rigidity in case of an explosion. In order to ensure the glass would remain in place (even if damaged), each panel is fixed to the main structure of the building and the glass beams are bolted into steel shoes in the floor.
Glass beams were chosen rather than steel to minimise the visual impact of the support, and maximise natural light in the café space and flexible fixings on the corners where two beams meet mean the beams can move in case of a blast, preventing them from shattering.
The glass box has become a landmark in itself and a reason to visit the cinema, offering a unique perspective over Leicester Square and we’re immensely proud to have been included in the project, as Charlie Sharman, Cantifix CEO commented: ““Having the trust of the design team, the contractor and especially the client, to work on this landmark building is testament to the hard work we have put in over the last 32 years. There is no substitute for collaboration, knowledge and expertise on projects like this.”
Photography by George Sharman.