Kawneer glazing helps to take Wales international
May 2021

Manufacturer’s systems feature on the new International Convention Centre Wales.

Architectural aluminium glazing systems from the complete portfolio of leading UK manufacturer Kawneer have been used on Wales’, if not the UK’s, new leading business tourism complex.

Two variants of Kawneer’s AA®110 curtain walling system, as well as window vents, doors and “roof glazing” feature on the International Convention Centre for Wales at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, South Wales.

Kawneer’s AA®110 zone-drained curtain walling, with 65mm sightlines, has been used for the majority of screens to conference rooms, entrances and circulation areas while the mullion-drained equivalent has been used to the auditorium bar and atrium roof light.

In addition, AA®545 side-hung, open-out window ventilators feature on the ground-floor offices and Series 190 heavy-duty doors, both manual and automatic sliding, on the ground-floor entrance and circulation areas.

The £83.7 million building, built over two years by main contractor John Sisk & Son on land adjacent to the existing facilities at Celtic Manor, is run as a 50/50 partnership between the Welsh Government and Celtic Manor Resort and was also funded by NatWest (part of the RBS Group).

ICC Wales can accommodate up to 5,000 delegates with a total floor space exceeding 26,000m2. It houses a 1,500-seat auditorium and separate exhibition hall which, at 4,000m2, provides the largest pillar-free ballroom in Europe, capable of hosting 2,400 people for a gala dinner.

Included in the design by Boyes Rees Architects are five divisible meeting rooms that create a further 12 flexible spaces, breakouts at all levels to outdoor networking spaces, state-of-the-art technology with fully-integrated audio visual facilities, and fully-serviced client offices, green rooms and production facilities.

The Kawneer systems were installed over five months by a team of up to eight from specialist sub-contractor and approved Kawneer dealer APiC UK.

APiC’s Senior Sales and Estimating Technician Andrew Finn said: “The Kawneer curtain walling to the auditorium bar slopes outwards from the vertical plane at 20°. This area was challenging for us as the degree of slope of the screen meant it was classified as roof glazing but in addition it still needed to meet the project requirements for crowd loading. But with double-glazed units at 4.5m high incorporated in the screen, the auditorium will have a light, spacious feel and provide excellent views of the surrounding area.”

Stephen Bowcott, Chief Executive of John Sisk & Son, said: “We were absolutely delighted to have been entrusted with one of the most prestigious and important construction projects in Wales.”

Celtic Manor Resort Chairman Sir Terry Matthews said: “The Celtic Manor Resort has already established a reputation as the UK’s No 1 Conference Hotel but this new centre is a real game-changer. In the past, we’d been forced to turn away hundreds of millions of pounds of business because we did not have the capacity to hold the largest conferences. Not any longer.

“This International Convention Centre allows us to attract the biggest and most lucrative business events to Wales, as well as high-profile summits and party political conferences. ICC Wales rivals any convention facility in Europe and acts as a magnet for major events, bringing huge benefits to the Welsh economy.”

Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates said: “This is a major asset for Wales, enabling us to compete with any venue in the UK and indeed Europe to attract and host key events that make a huge contribution to the economy. It will place Wales firmly at the forefront of business tourism destinations and I am delighted it was delivered in partnership with the Welsh Government.”