Case study

HSE Headquarters

Atrium Blinds at HSE Headquarters
HSE Headquarters - Guthrie Douglas
Drum atrium blinds fully retracted
walkway shading


Glass roofs & atria

Building type

Commercial Office


Cartwright Pickard

Delivery Partner



Bootle, UK

The Challenge

The HSE headquarters in Bootle, Merseyside boasts a dramatic drum-shaped design which is the work of architects Cartwright Pickard. The main atria across the campus were designed to bring natural daylight to all areas of the buildings, posing the challenge of how to regulate heat gain and glare.

Early daylighting analysis indicated that dynamic solar shading would be required for the glass roofs, harvesting solar gain during the winter and regulating it in summer. Early collaboration between Guthrie Douglas and the design team allowed the integration of tensioned internal roller blinds into the façade structure, reducing their visibility when not in use, maximising their effectiveness when required, and planning for access and maintenance of the blinds, 13m above ground level.

The integration of the blind mechanisms under a central walkway minimized visual impact and allows for future maintenance access.

Daylighting and heat studies of the building identified the areas where solar shading was required.

The Solution

Guthrie Douglas TESSTM 140 automated tensioned roof blind systems were selected covering some 2,500m2 of glass roof areas.

The Result

A survey of the building five years after completion found that measurable items like energy use and comfort significantly exceeded expectations, while user satisfaction was also extremely high.

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