SWA member shines as Financial Times returns to Bracken House
One of the world's most famous newspapers has returned to a building close by London's St Paul's Cathedral which it occupied up until the early eighties, with the extensive refurbishment and modernisation involving a member of the Steel Window Association, Associated Steel Window Services (ASWS), completing such work as polishing and patinating original bronze ironmongery, as well as window repairs and sourcing special replacement lock mechanisms.
New Bracken House is once again home to the Financial Times. John Robertson Architects was the practice, highly experienced in heritage work, which led the transformation after calling on the expertise of ASWS to carry out a pre-contract assessment of the fenestration's condition.
Interestingly the property was one of the first post-war buildings in the city to be listed, undergoing significant alterations in 1989 when Michael Hopkins Architects inserted a glazed structure in place of one façade. The most recent project, completed last year, has created 270,000 sq ft of top grade office space, with all new M&E services and a remodelled roof featuring a running track.
Having been awarded a subcontract by McLaren, ASWS began with the service and overhaul of 240 metal windows; replacing some individual 1,500 pieces or ironmongery. This included designing and manufacturing bespoke bracketry for windows fitted with duplex rods.
Katrina Howard of ASWS, commented, "After being brought on board to help devise a specification for the ironmongery's restoration, we were then awarded the contract for the work which presented a lot of technical challenges. These included designing new brassware to fit around quite widely varying handle plates, and inserting new beads to conceal gaps in the old ones. We also had to source 84 new locking mechanisms - which we found in Sweden - to fit within the aluminium doors around the atrium. We even refurbished brassware in the retained façade, around the famous astronomical clock."
The Senior Projects Manager for McLaren Construction, Joe Garcia, confirmed, "ASWS showed good skills in the way its personnel carried out the repairs to the various window and door types across a large and complex site, while also being responsive to challenges which came up during the contract, such as sourcing or designing replacement ironmongery where needed."
Members of the Steel Window Association offer a UK wide service for the repair and replacement of various types of old metal windows, doors and screens, as well as being able to manufacture new fenestration which fully meets the requirements of the Building Regulations. Choosing an SWA member to manufacture and install your steel windows and doors ensures that you are receiving the highest standard of fabrication, installation and customer service.