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Article Date: 5th June 2018

Selectaglaze - Another Build at ‘Risk’ is Saved & gets the Selectaglaze Treatment

Secondary Glazing - Bower Ashton Conservation Area - Arched Windows

Selectaglaze - Ashton Court Estate

Techniglaze helps a former gatehouse become more thermally efficient in its new role as a museum and gallery, with Selectaglaze secondary glazing.

Found within the Bower Ashton Conservation Area in Bristol is the Lower lodge Gatehouse; a lavish Grade II Listed former entrance to Ashton Court Estate.

Sir John Hugh Smyth, one of Bristol’s wealthiest landowners, conceived the idea for the Gatehouse in 1805. It shaped part of his plans to update Ashton Court Mansion as a gothic attraction in the local community. The estate was home to the Smyth family for 500 years and was bought by Bristol City Council in 1959.

The extravagant Gatehouse, built by Henry Wood, has a castellated bathstone exterior and heraldic entrance. It was the entry to a driveway up to the Mansion and a statement piece of architecture in its time. However, through the years the building was left uninhibited and fell into such disrepair, that it featured on Historic Englands ‘Heritage at Risk Register’. Floors and Roofs had collapsed; windows were missing and large cracks had formed in the stonework.

The majority of our architectural history is left to ruin, but luckily this building has been given a new life and once again stands proud at the entrance way to the estate. Austin-Smith:Lord headed a two year project to bring this stately Grade II Listed gatehouse back to its former glory. The refurbishment works are part of Bristol’s plans to renovate 5 estate lodges funded through grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and money raised by Bristol Buildings Preservation Trust.

ABB Power Grids HVDC LightAs the Gothic Revival building is Grade II Listed, original features remained and were restored such as the stone flagged floors and stairs, plastered vaulted ceilings, gothic doors and beautiful gothic arched windows. Fortuitously despite its condition, its fabric was retrievable so any refurbishments could be historically exact.

Main contractor, Ken Biggs, approached Techniglaze, who have worked together with Selectaglaze for over 20 years, for support with the specification of secondary glazing. The original windows had crooked original glass, probably no thicker than 3mm and the frames were leaky; so the building was cold and draughty. They are set in stone and have leaded lights, so the character and sightlines needed to stay in order to depict the craftsmanship of the time. Some of the windows were in the turret stairwell making access challenging.

A total of 18 openings were treated, all very crooked in size and shape. Timber frames were created for all, to make sure a true opening was generated to fix the secondary glazing to; a tight fit to remove any drafts or air gaps. The series 45 hinged casement was specified with gothic arched heads, to allow for a clear view of the primary glazing, without including any new sightlines. It also delivers full access for cleaning and maintenance of the original windows. The high performance seals and use of low-E glass in the secondary glazing, has modified the overall thermal performance of the building and created a much more comfortable environment.

ABB Power Grids HVDC Light“We are delighted with the quality of the secondary glazing. Not only does it keep the building warm, but does a fantastic job keeping the noise of a busy road nearby to a minimum. Ashton Gatehouse is more than 200 years old, yet the newly installed glazing fits perfectly with the look and feel of this historic site.” Commented Ben Mellor, Gatehouse Manager.

With the Lower Lodge being an integral part of Bristol’s heritage, it has been effectively brought back to life and restored to its former glory. It makes Selectaglaze proud to be involved in projects which sensitively restore and retain an architectural history for future generations.

Selectaglaze, established for 50 years and Royal Warrant holder since 2004, has worked with Techniglaze for over 20 years, on projects in Cornwall, Devon and the West Country. It has vast experience working on all building styles. The company offers an extensive range of products covering acoustic and thermal performance as well as security against intruder and blast mitigation. A free technical advisory service and a RIBA approved CPD is offered to architects and designers.

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