Case Study

Crouch End Picturehouse | London, UK

The Crouch End Picturehouse in North London is an interesting example of how Kalwall® can be used to convert an ugly 1950’s concrete building into a state-of-the-art space suitable for the 21st Century.

This project by Panter Hudspith Architects forms part of a wider initiative within the London surburb of Haringey, aiming to re-establish the area as one of London’s cultural and arts centers. The result is a remarkable transformation of a building, originally a factory then an office, into a £6.5 million ($9.75M USD) five-screen cinema complete with café, bar, restaurant and community rooms.

Panter Hudspith Architects replaced the original curtain wall and specified Kalwall for the front elevation. Unusually, this unique translucent cladding is fitted with a tight 6” (150mm) wide grid, known as Verti-Kal™, which not only serves to emphasize height but is the first of its type in the UK. On this scheme the Kalwall panels also insulate to 0.14 U (0.78 watts per square meter) making the building both sustainable and eye-catching, exuding a gentle glow at night.

The highly insulating qualities of Kalwall, coupled with other sustainable measures, including solar panels and a green wall, helped the building achieve a BREEAM rating of Very Good. BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is the leading and most widely used green environmental assessment method for buildings and communities in the UK.

This project has won a bevy of awards for its style, design and positive impact on the local area. Accolades include winning Building Design’s Architect of the Year Award 2016 (Sports and Leisure) as well as winning Best Green Design at the Haringey Design Awards 2016 and The Architect’s Journal 2016 Retrofit Leisure Award.

Kalwall is increasingly being used in the UK for both new buildings and also for the refurbishment of cladding or rooflights on aged buildings. One of the main attractions of specifying Kalwall is its unique effect on both the interior and exterior. Internally, rooms are flooded with diffused natural daylight which creates a stimulating and very attractive environment. Although translucent, it also offers the big advantage of privacy, while the elevations appear crisp, simple and inviting. When illuminated at night they emit a very attractive ethereal glow.

Architect James Jeremiah comments:

“It’s the first time we’ve specified Kalwall and it fulfils our vision of retaining the modernist characteristics of the building. One of our original concepts for the building was of a zoetrope (one of the earliest forms of moving image) and there’s a strong history of using transparency in films with people moving behind the shadows. We felt the Kalwall system was a very good fit for what we wanted to achieve.”


Architects’ Journal Retrofit Awards:
Winner – Leisure 2016

Building Design Architect of the Year Award:
Winner – Architect of the Year Award (Sports and Leisure) 2016

Haringey Design Awards:
Winner – Best Green Design 2016

Download Case Study


Panel: 2.75” | 70mm
Grid core: VertiKal™
Exterior FRP: crystal
Interior FRP: white
System finish: bronze #85
U-Value: .14 | .78 Wm2K
Solar Heat Gain Coefficient: 0.17
Visible Light Transmission: 9%

Take advantage of our complimentary daylight modeling services to understand how a Kalwall will impact your design.

Learn More

Don’t stay in the dark!

    Don’t stay
    in the dark!

    Get educational, insightful and inspirational content from the industry leader in daylight. Sign up for our enewsletter before you go.

    Thank You!

    Welcome to our daylighting community.

    Holler Box