Issue 33 web - Flipbook - Page 13
Steel windows meet aesthetic
aspirations at St Albans Cathedral
Perimeter roof glazing provides a light touch connection
between new and old while giving an airy feel to the internal spaces. To achieve this, Steel Window Services and
Supplies provided a high-level window of 12 sections measuring some 14m wide and 670mm high and another of four
sections measuring over 3m wide and 935mm high.
Sympathetically connecting the grade I listed cathedral
building to its 1980s chapter house, the new welcome
centre at St Albans Cathedral provides a visitor entrance,
retail space, interpretation and exhibition areas and other
facilities. The architecture is respectfully understated with
steel windows by Steel Window Association member,
Steel Window Services and Supplies helping to achieve
the overall aesthetic.
In all, eight W40 composite windows and one W20
standard metal window were supplied, with installation
on site taking around two weeks. All the windows were
hot dipped galvanised and finished with a factory applied
powder coating in RAL 7016, anthracite grey.
The welcome centre is designed by conservation architect
Simpson & Brown. The context of the historic Norman
cathedral site demanded careful consideration of the materials palette. The existing cathedral and chapter house
buildings feature metal-framed and leaded windows. It
was felt that the new welcome centre extension should
complement the existing fabric yet be easily recognisable
as a modern intervention.
Catriona O'Neill, associate architect for Simpson &
Brown, comments: "We specified the steel framed
windows from Steel Window Services as the products
available allowed us to exceed modern thermal efficiency
requirements and provide natural ventilation whilst also
meeting aesthetic aspirations for the two feature triptychs
of tall, slim window openings. These open up views
between the main visitor entrance at the east and the
historic cloisters site at the west."
The new extension is low-slung so as not to compete with
the massing of the cathedral building. An important
feature of the front facade is a triptych of vertical steel
windows which, at over 2.5m high, are mirrored on the
opposite side of the building.
For further information on the Steel Window Association
or if you're interested in becoming member, please visit
Conservation & Heritage Journal