The fenestration pattern of the1920s-built Hampstead Athletic Track pavilion has been restored to its original appearance with a replica refurbishment package from ASWS (Associated Steel Window Services).
The London-based company was called in by The City of London’s Chamberlain’s Department to offer its expertise on steel fenestration when it was decided to try and restore the elevations of the brick-built structure to its original appearanceafter many of the original steel frames had been replaced with timber, aluminium and even PVC-U alternatives over the years.
Contracts Director Kris Bennell takes up the story: “We originally received a call in 2017 from Ulrike Mahl, a senior building surveyor at The City of London, who is a steel window enthusiast and who had seen the work we had done on Hackney Town Hall.
“Essentially half the original steel windows were still surviving, though in a poor condition, while work in the eighties and nineties had seen different areas replaced unsympathetically – using timber, aluminium and PVC-U systems.
“Naturally the planning department wanted to see a complete reversal back to how it would have looked 100 years ago – in keeping with the original listing. There was a long process in ensuring the designs were right, and although we were not directly involved in the planning permission, we provided all necessary drawings and technical submissions.”
The replacements encompassed three main variations, starting with 1600mm square fixed lights – each featuring a single glass unit – and other smaller paned fixed lights of a similar height, plus three-metre long composites, coupled together without mullion sections. Then above all the areas of fixed lights, ventilation was provided by the inclusion of 600 mm high double glazed pivot windows which mimicked the style of louvres.
The work was carried out during the winter season when the pavilion is used much less and ASWS was given possession of both of the changing rooms in turn, followed by the communal areas used for refreshments and club meetings.
Kris Bennell concluded: “The old windows were a bespoke heavy-duty section but were not deep enough to accept double glazing, and so we fabricated the new windows in the same style using W20 sections. They have been fitted with 16mm IG units featuring toughened Low-E glass and argon filling to achieve a U-value of 2.9 W/m2K.
“This is one of the most important athletics facilities in London and the clients and the many people who use the place have been complimentary about the results.”