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Cotswold architect uses steel windows for upgrade of listed farmhouse

The project team responsible for the sensitive but stylish alterations to a Grade II listed farmhouse have made use of W20 steel windows and doorsets, supplied and installed by a member of the Steel Window Association.  

Both the design consultant, James Mackintosh Architects, and the property are located in the village of Enstone, while the main contractor undertaking this bespoke building project was Alfred Groves & Sons from nearby Milton-under-Wychwood. The contract also saw the period property specialist renew its past partnership with Cotswold Casements which fabricated and fitted a large composite W20 window and two doorsets.

The Contract Manager for Alfred Groves, Russell Hawtin, explained: “We have worked with Cotswold Casements on many projects in the past. This contract involved a lot of structural alterations to open up the kitchen into a more spacious area - extending openings with the use of new stone quoins and formation of a new roof construction. The client liked the simplistic look of steel windows, which are in keeping with the property, and Cotswold provided a complete package right through to the high spec glazing units.”

Although this was the first time James Mackintosh Architects had made use of Cotswold Casements’ services, the firm’s founder is widely experienced in respecting the needs of heritage properties, and felt steel windows were sensitive to this particular challenge.

James Mackintosh commented: “Our practice specialises and concentrates exclusively on works to listed buildings, scheduled ancient monuments and buildings in conservation areas; being involved as far afield as the East Midlands and Yorkshire, while we cover a range of project types including cultural, regeneration and education as well as the residential sector.

“Radford Farm is Grade II listed and had remained virtually unaltered for 190 years, until it was extended significantly in 1833 following improvements in farming methods. The extensions included a new range to the south west providing a drawing room and accommodation above as well as a dairy and scullery to the north east.

“Our clients wanted to ensure that any external alterations were carried out with the greatest sensitivity and would stand the test of time for the next 100 years. Steel casement windows were selected as they provide a contemporary, elegant aesthetic, with slender sightlines and have stood the test of time.”

Referring to the new fenestration’s incorporation into the existing facades, James Mackintosh continued: “While the windows were selected for their contemporary design, the specification required special care, and we used the proportions of the existing sash windows so that the new windows sit comfortably with the existing openings.

“The large composite window has been installed within a new dormer structure to an existing room. This sensitive change provided for the first time a generous aspect to the garden and fields to the south east, which allowed the space  - previously used as an office and breakfast room - to become a generous family kitchen, resolving flow throughout the ground floor of the house, better connecting the dining and sitting room.”

All of the frames were hot dip galvanised to provide long term corrosion resistance and finished in a RAL 7021, Grey Black polyester powder coating.

The small pane units were all glazed with 4-6-4 Krypton filled sealed units to achieve a thermal performance in line with current Building Regulation requirements.

The fitting of the doors and windows was carried out on site at the farm by Cotswold Casement’s specialist installation partner, with the doorsets and the large composite window being assembled in-situ to fill the prepared openings.