BA Systems BA Systems

The Gatefold Building

The Gatefold Building – A 132 rental home Hayes development with office space, a new café and community amenities.

The Project

The Old Vinyl Factory masterplan is designed to reimagine the vinyl record era in the 1960s and 1970s. With Hayes being a European hub for vinyl record manufacture, The Gatefold Building is named after the packaging that was used in for the LP records which became popular in the mid-1960s.

The building is the first in the wider masterplan.  The project has been delivered by Willmott Dixon’s private-rented sector business, Be:here, on behalf of Development Securities and Cathedral Group. Be:here will manage the rental units under its own brand.

The Challenge

The scheme required an iconic balustrade solution to represent the cultural heritage of the area and reflect the quality rental apartments Be:here seek to deliver. The project presented a number of initial challenges:

  • At procurement stage, Willmott Dixon were faced with an unforeseen situation with the previous balustrade contractor, only weeks before they needed them on site.
  • There were significant building control milestones and fire regulation requirements.
  • The proposed balustrade design needed to be re-engineered to ensure a quality finished product that could be installed quickly.

The Solution – Design 

Working closely with Frank Reynolds Architects and the Willmott Dixon design team, the balustrade fixing details were developed, simplified and agreed at an early stage to ensure that flow would not be hindered during the installation phase. BA Systems provided the solution with their B30 Frame & Glass Infill panel balustrade system.

A standard custom channel profile was developed to fix to both the steel walkways (fig. 1) and concrete balconies (fig. 2). With one channel profile used across the entire project, it enabled swifter procurement and installation.

In order to reduce trade interfaces on the walkways, BA Systems provided a fascia solution with a 4mm aluminium composite product. This was mounted on aluminium box section which was then fixed to the B30 base channel and a supporting U-channel (fig. 3).

For the central core staircase the B20 balustrade system was used. The 42mm diameter stainless steel balustrade handrail was polyester powder coated to the same RAL number as the walkway balustrade to ensure a consistent finish across the project.

On the balcony areas, a custom B20 privacy screen was designed. The 1800mm high screen used  a 10mm opaque toughened glass infill. The powder coated posts were designed to fix to the concrete slab and upstand (fig. 4).

The Solution – Manufacture and Install

With just under 4,500m of aluminium extrusion for the B30 system needed, BA Systems identified the requirement for a new semi-automatic cutting saw. This investment meant that a consistent finished product could be achieved without compromising the speed of the installation.

Prior to the delivery to site, all the powder coated products were wrapped with a custom foam protective profile (fig. 5). Once the off-site manufactured products had been assembled on site and the glass installed,  the install teams protected all glass panels with a Corex protection. This ensured a quality finished product at final handover stage.


B30 Fixing detail - steel walkway

Fig. 1 – Steel walkway B30 balustrade fixing detail

B30 Fixing detail - concrete balcony

Fig. 2 – B30 balustrade fixing detail – Concrete Balcony

Fascia fixing details

Fig. 3 – Early-stage design for fascia fixing detail

Privacy screen

Fig. 4 – B20 Privacy screen

B30 protective wrapping

Fig. 5 – B30 protective wrapping

Project Achievements