final issue 30 web - Flipbook - Page 14
Once restoration or improvement work has been
approved the work then has to be carried out under strict
Materials that are as close to the original as possible must
often be used, even when there are superior modern
alternatives. They may threaten the integrity and
character of the building.
Firms have to continually find new and innovative ways
to enable these buildings to serve a useful purpose in
today’s world, while preserving their appearance and
Windows especially are an issue. Their structure - wooden
frames and delicate glass - means they are often the first
areas to show signs of decay. If they break down, they can
render a building uninhabitable, leaving it vulnerable to
weather and noise pollution.
Above, Royal Hospital Chelsea
And technical director Mitchell Reece said it was an
honourto have played a part in the iconic building’s
journey. Mitchell said the team at Storm all felt a duty of
care when working on historic and listed buildings, to
ensure their survival for the next generation.
Yet any slight change to the windows can cause irrevocable damage to the building’s appearance and character.
This was one of the issues that arose during the refurbishment of the Royal Hospital Chelsea.
“The bulk of our work is in listed buildings and we have
a duty of care to do the right thing. We play a big part in
protecting the building for the future generations," he
When the time came to upgrade the accommodation
blocks, a great deal of thought and planning had to be
undertaken to make sure they were comfortable, warm
and quiet, but kept their original characteristics.
When All Saints Church in Hawkshurst, Kent, was
converted into apartments, Storm was brought in again
as the huge stained glass windows had to be retained.
The hospital is a Grade I and II listed site, founded in
1682. Sir Christopher Wren was commissioned to design
and build it and it is now home to some 300 Chelsea
The openings were all different shapes and sizes and the
work to measure and fit secondary glazing was once again
meticulous and painstaking.
The planning stage of the restoration took several years
and windows were a particular issue.
But the results – a warm, quiet and comfortable building
that met modern standards but retained its character and
unique appearance – were a huge reward.
Experts from secondary glazing specialists Storm, a family
firm based in Halesowen, West Midlands, were drafted in.
They had worked on many listed buildings and had a
reputation for high-quality sympathetic work.
It is only with expert craftsmanship and care, that a
building’s past – and future - can be truly protected.
For more information, visit stormwindows.co.uk
Even so, initial samples were rejected and designs had to
go through many adaptations and stages of testing and
approval before approval was finally granted.
A special reflection-free glass was imported from
Germany, to meet the demands of heritage and conservation experts. The final aluminium-framed secondary
glazing units were painstakingly measured and made to
fit each opening. They were designed specially to open
fully and colour-matched to be as unobtrusive as possible.
This was bespoke craftsmanship at its finest, with the new
units making the accommodation warmer, quieter and
much more comfortable.
Storm’s director Jayne Griffiths said the team was proud
to have been involved in helping to safeguard the future
of such a prestigious building.
Conservation & Heritage Journal