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Conservatory built with steel window precision

Manufactured to incredibly tight tolerances, a screen of steel windows and doors below a glazed roof was employed to form a conservatory within a large kitchen that extends to the whole width of a Victorian Italianate villa in Chiswick, West London. The work involved close collaboration between Steel Window Association member, Steel Window Service and Supplies, the architect and the roof manufacturer. The beautiful, light, contemporary space now echoes the property’s period style.

The house stands in a conservation area and, with an unusual corner tower, is a locally listed building of merit. It had been bought by the owners in a rundown state so the couple appointed AND.GB Architecture and Design to produce a scheme which involved roof-to-basement refurbishment. The new conservatory area replaced an existing extension which, although it had a small skylight, was quite dingy so it was decided to create a greenhouse like structure.  

Since it was impossible to find a double glazed steel greenhouse, the architect decided to design and build it using three different suppliers. The roof was made by a metal contractor with double glazing by a second company while Steel Window Services and Supplies fabricated the facade. Due to the project’s timescale, all of the components had to be manufactured simultaneously so that they could be delivered and erected on site at the same time. CAD drawings were produced that were correct to 1mm, with the entire structure having a tolerance of just 3mm.

The gabled screen manufactured by Steel Window Services and Supplies to form the end of the conservatory area contains double doors that open out into the garden and measures almost 3.5m high and over 2m wide. A separate gable element was produced for the opposite end of the roof. In addition, the company supplied two sets of French doors that were installed into existing window openings that were enlarged to provide direct access to the rear garden from the kitchen. All the steel elements were finished with a factory-applied polyester power coating in RAL 9005 matt jet black.

Fariba Pentland, director of AND.GB Architecture and Design, comments: “We’d worked with Steel Window Services and Supplies in the past and they’re easy to get on with and very professional. The project involved huge coordination between everyone, and it was a big risk to take, so we had to trust all the companies involved that the different components would fit together. But it just fitted perfectly when it all arrived. The owners are delighted with the end result.”