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Ecclesistical & Heritage World No.99

Specialist glazing units help period buildings stay ahead of the curve

StormWindows pic1Bury Street project for the Crown Estate in LondonCurved-in-plan glazing units have been around for some time, but over recent years there has been a significant surge in their popularity. The curved shape matches both contemporary and heritage aesthetics, creating a sense of flow and continuity. Internally, they help to enhance a feeling of light and spaciousness.

Contemporary design with traditional elegance

For conservation and listed properties, curved-in-plan units have a number of benefits. They can be designed to match the exact shape and size of the existing windows – a key consideration when it comes to preserving the historic and architectural integrity of the building – and as well as providing a sympathetic replacement for the original windows, curved-in-plan units provide enhanced thermal and acoustic performance. Curved-in-plan units help to reduce energy bills and lower the property’s carbon footprint.

However, while these units are increasingly popular, the specialist knowledge and expertise required to create and fit them is in short supply.

StormWindows pic2K1 Knightsbridge
Precision and quality

Storm Windows, based in the West Midlands, is one of the few companies in the UK that have the expertise to supply secondary glazing for curved-in-plan units. Their approach to creating the units is underpinned by a commitment to precision and quality. The process begins with a survey of the windows. A paper template is used to create an exact copy of the curved window, then an MDF template is made in the workshop. That template is sent to the glass company to create the curved glass.

The glass that is created is then cut to size by hand in the Storm Windows workshop. Throughout the process there is close attention to detail, ensuring that the windows are created to fully meet the requirements of the customer and the particular installation.

That highly-developed expertise means that Storm Windows is in demand across the country. Over recent years they have been involved with a range of prestigious projects that required curved-in-plan units. A shining example of that is K1 Knightsbridge.

StormWindows pic3Bury Street project for the Crown Estate in London
K1 Knightsbridge

K1 Knightsbridge is a prestigious mixed-use development located in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London. The development is made up of commercial, residential and retail space and comprises 35 luxury apartments, high-end retail shops and office space.

As part of the development, Storm Windows was commissioned to provide bespoke curved-in-plan units for 33 of the 60 windows that were being installed. The company’s expertise in creating slimline units with the curved-in-plan design was crucial in meeting the demanding specifications of the project.

The developer Skanska went through a number of different window designs before settling on a final choice. Storm Windows developed an innovative approach that saw the secondary glazing integrated into the structure of the original window. That means that, when the window is opened, the entire window, including the secondary glazing, opens simultaneously. The original ironmongery of the window is then fitted over the secondary glazing fittings, ensuring the required thermal and noise reductions are achieved.

In addition to the K1 Knightsbridge project, Storm Windows has provided curved-in-plan units for other high-profile projects, such as the Bury Street project for the Crown Estate in London and The Pick Building in Leicester. In both cases, contemporary expectations in terms of insulation, energy efficiency and noise reduction were all met without compromising the overall aesthetics of the buildings.

StormWindows pic4The Pick Building in Leicester
WStormWindows pic5arm homes with traditional aesthetics

A perennial issue for owners of period properties is how to create warm, energy-efficient homes without compromising the valued aesthetics of the building. Curved-in-plan units are an increasingly popular choice with homeowners looking to improve the insulation and energy efficiency of their properties. The owner of a property in Scotland wanted to add extra warmth and insulation to an alcove (pictured right) that had beautiful views but was too cold and draughty to linger in, particularly in the winter. Storm Windows was tasked with adding three curved-in-plan units to the alcove’s windows, including two slimline units and a horizontal sliding unit for the centre window.

The team at Storm Windows was able to design and install the units in a way that not only improved the thermal insulation and reduced draughts but also enhanced the aesthetic appeal of the space. The new glazing units matched the curve of the original windows and were finished with safety film to ensure the safety of the occupants. As a result, the alcove is now a warm and cosy space that can be enjoyed throughout the year – no matter the weather conditions outside.

For those seeking advice about curved-in-plan units, their practicality and the impact they can have on energy bills, the experienced team at Storm Windows is always happy to help.

• For more information, advice or to book a survey visit www.stormwindows.co.uk, call 01384 636365 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..