Spence masterpiece has steel windows replaced
An art deco residence, designed by Sir Basil Spence and located on one of Scotland's most beautiful estates, is having all of its original universal suite window frames replaced by Steel Window Service & Supplies in a major contract, being overseen by Historic Scotland, as well as Edinburgh based architectural practice, Simpson and Brown.
The work at Gribloch House, near Stirling, is involving the steel window specialist in painstakingly conserving all of the old ironmongery while drawing on little used techniques, as well as new technology, to replicate the appearance of the original fenestration.
A spokesperson for Steel Window Service & Supplies, Mick Harris, states: "The people from Historic Scotland and Stirling council's conservation officers were not keen on the appearance of the 16mm double glazed units that are fitted as standard into W20 windows, because it is possible to see the spacer bar. We, therefore, sourced special, high performance, 11mm Slimlite IG units, which use a combination of inert gases to achieve a similar energy performance. You can, therefore, get very close to the window and it will still look like a single pane of glass."
Simpson and Brown brought the Slimlite glazed unit to the attention of Steel Window Service & Supplies, as the architects had specified it successfully for a number of projects involving the upgrading of original Georgian and Victorian timber sash and case windows in listed buildings.
To keep faith with the aesthetics of the 1930s windows, Steel Window Service & Supplies is using traditional putty to fit the Slimlite units rather than the normal glazing bead. To protect the edge seal of the 11mm units, standard setting blocks and silicone sealant are being utilised prior to the putty being applied.
The Project architect for Simpson and Brown, Adrian Roberts, explains: "The replacement of the windows at Gribloch House was always going to be challenging with our needing to try to maintain the original appearance and slim sightlines. In my internet research, trying to find a company that could reuse all of the old ironmongery, it was only Steel Window Service & Supplies which seemed to offer this. Then in our subsequent conversations it also transpired they could offer the very slim glazing units to conceal the spacer bars."
During the final installation phase of the project, Steel Window Service & Supplies will be sending an eight man team up to Stirling to fit the new units into a total of 71 openings.The building will remain occupied throughout the two month period.
The manufacturer has had new hardwood sub-frames fabricated using Sapele obtained from certificated, sustainable sources; which will be fixed into the openings' concrete reveals. All of the W20 windows and door sets are hot dip galvanised and polyester powder coated in white to blend with the building's white painted rendered elevations.
The windows vary in size from 400mm diameter bulls-eyes, through to 6.5 metre tall staircase screens. There is also a diversity of different openers with side hung, top hung, bottom hung and horizontal pivots. And, while the curve to Gribloch House's front elevation is accommodated by faceting the steel frames within the radiused sub-frames, there is a large curved on plan window to the rear of the building.
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