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Steel windows and doors bring new life to church interior

Steel windows and doors bring new life to church interior

Highly commended in the 'Best Change of Use of an Existing Building or Conversion' category of the LABC awards, Hope Church Islington St David owes some of its success to the 33 windows and doors manufactured and installed by Steel Window Association member, REA Metal Windows. These had to work aesthetically while meeting a diversity of other requirements; including fire protection and thermal performance.

Few projects necessitate the range of internal window and door solutions that were used in the conversion of St David in Westbourne Road, North London. The overall scheme by Matthew Lloyd Architects involved the retention of a worship space within a new framework of social activity in the locally listed church building. It includes a newly created first floor which accommodates community administration and meeting rooms, a bridge over the hallway linking the two wings and a new basement excavated beneath the original nave.

REA Metal Windows worked closely with HOC UK, the contractors responsible for the overall project. The company manufactured, supplied, fixed and glazed seven high-performance W40 triple glazed windows with an overall U-value of 1.7Wm²k, 22No. Single or double leaf door sets, which were either thermally broken or fire rated, and four fire rated screens. The sizes of the individual units ranged from comparatively small windows to a screen with doors measuring around 5m high x 2m wide. 

The products used included those from REA’s FirebREAk and REAframe ranges. FirebREAk steel screens can be designed to comply with the integrity requirements of BS476 part 22-1987 for 30, 60 and 120 minutes fire resistance. The REAframe range of doors and screens is manufactured from precision cold rolled steel profiles. The main benefits of the product are robust durability, torsional rigidity, which is especially beneficial in door fabrication, and relatively slim sight lines, allowing panes with a high glass to frame ratio.

All the windows and doors used at St David were polyester powder coated in black. This finish was complemented by a wide variety of stainless steel fittings, including bespoke door handles, which add to the contemporary feel inside the building.

Paraic Curtis, director at HOC UK, comments: “REA has a great reputation and we’ve used them on another scheme so we have a good relationship with the company. The project was difficult because nearly every single door and window was bespoke. There was quite a bit of coordination needed and a lot of sequencing that had to be considered because of the difficulties with the site. REA did everything expected and more, they’re very professional.”