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Robinson Building, Bedminster

A striking residential development near Bristol has made full use of the design flexibility as well as the renowned physical characteristics of W40 steel framed windows in executing an exacting brief.

The Robinson Building in Bedminster has been refurbished and converted by Urbis Developments to create a total of 100 luxurious apartments for market sale, with O’Leary Goss Architects being the lead consultant for the project. Monk Metal Windows were the Steel Window Association member company that carried out the detailed survey, manufacture and installation of the high performance fenestration.

Initially the client had wanted to incorporate horizontal pivots into the properties and this type of window was actually included in a prototype ‘show flat’ which was set up in a nearby retail unit to help prospective purchasers visualize the finished dwellings. After further evaluation, Monk Metal’s proposal of having side hung opening lights featuring a special sloped internal glazing bead was adopted and proved a winner with purchasers.

Although there were various sizes of composite unit made up using mullion sections, the typical window fabricated measured 2000 mm high by 1000 wide with the frames being finished in a dark brown polyester powder coating. The windows were glazed using IG units having a 4-16-4 make up where an inner leaf of low-E glass and an argon filled cavity is fronted by Pilkington Activ self-cleaning glass. This assembly achieving a U-value of 1.2 W/m2K.

The partner in charge of the project at O’Leary Goss, Robert O’Leary comments:

The building dates from 1870 and still retained the original cast iron windows. While we did consider restoring these, their condition and the very small pane size made this impractical. Monk Metal proposed a different size of window as well as a very neat chamfered bead which made the whole appearance far more elegant than it might have been. Their involvement really has been a totally seamless part of the project.

One of the most striking features to the facades is a series of large circular openings in the masonry walls. Here Monk Metal Windows again demonstrated its design and fabrication capabilities by producing 1500 mm diameter flanged rings which fit together from either side of the walls to effectively sleeve the opening. Matching ‘bulls-eye’ windows then fill the openings.

Following the completion of the main building, the developer went on to buy a former church next door which was turned into an annexe, with Monk Metal Windows also supplying W40 frames for its restoration and conversion.

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