A key aspect to the transformation of the former BBC World Service buildings to form the new Aldwych Quarter redevelopment has been the restoration and replacement of the ageing steel window frames. The project was successfully completed by two members of the Steel Window Association - Associated Steel Window Services and Steel Window Service and Supplies Limited.
The Bush House refurbishment has transformed the 90 year old property while maintaining its architectural integrity, especially in respect of its external elevations with their distinctive steel fenestration pattern. The project has been undertaken by main contractor ISG with John Robertson Architects being responsible for the design work.
The metal window restoration specialists' involvement has extended to stripping down, repairing worn sections, refitting ironmongery and generally overhauling close to a thousand windows across three of the four blocks which comprise Aldwych Quarter: Bush House, South East Wing and North East Wing.
Typical window sizes tackled were 2230 x 1065 mm wide, while in the North-east Wing the frame material switched from steel to bronze; and all the glazing for the Centre Block had to be reproduced with lead cames. A handful of windows has also had to be reproduced in W40 sections due to the extent of the corrosion suffered down the decades.
The Project Director for John Robertson Architects, Mr Simon White, added: "The original designs by American architects, Helmle & Corbett, were concerned more with the classical appearance of the buildings than with standardisation and, although only the Centre Block is Grade 2 listed, the whole complex sits within the Strand Conservation Area so our decision to proceed with restoring the windows rather than replacing them was a balance of heritage and budgetary constraints. There have been issues due to the multiplicity of window types and the accumulation of old paint puts on the frames, but we have still been able to achieve a category A fit-out standard for letting purposes."
For further information on the Steel Window Association, please visit www.steel-window-association.co.uk or call 0844 249 1355.