Unless you are an urban fashionista, a Hollywood A lister, or you’re young and cool enough to know your HUF from your Stüssy, then there’s a good chance you will have never heard of cult Japanese clothing brand, A Bathing Ape.
Otherwise known as BAPE, A Bathing Ape was formed in the early ‘90s and has since established itself as one of the top urban clothing labels in the world. Specialising in men’s, women’s and children’s streetwear, BAPE has outlets in all the major fashion capitals around the globe and has recently opened a flagship store in Mayfair, London. If you’re in the market for a bright orange camo hoodie or a pair of £600 trainers, then we suggest you check it out! However, considering the demographic most likely to be reading this, we suspect that the stylish but functional office meeting rooms at BAPE’s London store might be of more interest…
Featuring FrameTec Select 2.0 office partitioning from Bohle, the two meeting rooms at BAPE UK have been designed to provide employees with contemporary, well-lit spaces for managerial meetings. They were installed by UK-GG, a leading, family-run Manchester based glazing contract specialist that operates across commercial, retail and residential sectors throughout the UK and mainland Europe.
Paul Moores, Company Director, explained: “We hadn’t actually used FrameTec before this project, but as a long-standing Bohle customer, we already had a lot of confidence in the design and quality of the system. We sent a video that Bohle had produced as an installation guide for FrameTec to the client’s designer and that played a big part in helping us to secure the contract. It helped to demonstrate the quality of the system, but also that it would meet the desired aesthetics and the technical performance that was required.”
Launched in 2020, FrameTec Select 2.0 is a variant of the industry leading FrameTec commercial and domestic partitioning system. With slim frame and glazing profiles of 35.5mm, it offers a more ‘industrial’ style and is available in powder-coated, matt black (RAL 9005). A dry glazing system that can be configured with either a single door or combined with over-panel and sidelight options, FrameTec Select ensures glass panes are clamped and held securely thanks to high-quality sealing strips. As the system follows a modular design, it is also very easy to install. In addition, it also provides sound proofing up to 39db, which was an important feature for the BAPE project, as the client had specifically requested that the offices could be made more private when the doors were closed.
“From an installation point of view, fitting the FrameTec Select system was very straightforward,” said Paul. “It was our first time with the system, so we didn’t rush the job and we also made a point of watching the training videos made by Bohle, in addition to studying the manuals. Sometimes, training videos can make the job seem a lot easier than it actually is! “However, thanks to the modular design of FrameTec, the fact the retainer profiles can be secured with just two screws, the quality of the corner connectors and glazing beads – it meant the installation at BAPE was as simple and intuitive as we had hoped.
“The end result features two full height 2.6m doors and with the slim profile and black finish, it looks identical to the digital render that was originally supplied to the client’s designer. The quality is outstanding, when you close the doors, it’s a really snug fit and that’s definitely helped to meet the acoustic requirements. We’ve had no snagging issues and the customer’s expectations have been met in full,” he continued.
According to Paul, the success of the FrameTec Select project at BAPE London builds on previous positive experiences with Bohle products, most recently with the VetroMount F balustrade system.
“We’d struggled with other balustrade systems before using VetroMount but now we won’t use anything else,” said Paul. “As with FrameTec, we watched Bohle’s tutorial video before we installed it for the first time, and I remember thinking, ‘that looks easy’. Then we fitted it and it was genuinely as easy as it looked!
Developed by Bohle to cater for growing demand in the residential market, the VetroMount balustrade system has also been designed to make installation as simple as possible. It features an innovative mounting kit that sits inside the profile, fixing the glass into place using a knock-in clamping system and patented ‘zip-lock’ mechanism to lock it into place.
“One of the biggest advantages of VetroMount, aside from the fact that you don’t need specialist tools to fit it, is that you can fit the glass and line it up from one side. It’s very hard to make any mistakes with it, and that ease of installation means we’re now much more efficient with our time on site,” continued Paul. "There are cheaper systems on the market, but it’s very much a case of ‘you get what you pay for’, and actually, VetroMount is priced very competitively when compared to other products at the more premium end of the market.
“It’s the same with FrameTec,” he concluded. “There will be always be projects that are very price sensitive, and clients that insist on using a cheaper, inferior product, but FrameTec S gives us a compelling reason to upsell to a much higher quality solution, one that will deliver far better results for the client and for UK-GG.”