ASWS restores Art Deco elegance of Hampstead Athletics pavilion with replacement steel window package

Despite being best known for its pre-eminence in the repair and restoration of traditional metal windows of all ages, ASWS has earned the appreciation of all involved in the renovation of the Hampstead Athletic Track pavilion through the supply of a ‘replica refurbishment’ package; restoring the appearance of the 1920s building’s fenestration pattern.

The London-based company was called in by The City of London’s Chamberlain’s Department to offer its expertise on steel fenestration when it was decided to try and restore the elevations of the brick-built structure to its original appearance. Over the years, many of the original steel frames had been replaced with timber, aluminium and even PVC-U alternatives.  The scope of the work also included trying to improve the energy performance and security of the windows.

The Contracts Director for ASWS, Kris Bennell, comments: “We originally received a call in 2017 from Ulrike Mahl, a senior building surveyor at The City of London, who is a steel window enthusiast and who had seen the work we had done on Hackney Town Hall.  Essentially half the original steel windows were still surviving, though in a poor condition, while work in the eighties and nineties had seen different areas replaced unsympathetically – using timber, aluminium and PVC-U systems.”

“Naturally the planning department wanted to see a complete reversal back to how it would have looked 100 years ago – in keeping with the original listing.  There was a long process in ensuring the designs were right, and although we were not directly involved in the planning permission, we provided all necessary drawings and technical submissions.”

The replacements encompassed three main variations, starting with 1600mm square fixed lights – each featuring a single glass unit – and other smaller paned fixed lights of a similar height, plus three metre long composites, coupled together without mullion sections.  Then above all the areas of fixed lights, ventilation was provided by the inclusion of 600 mm high double glazed pivot windows which mimicked the style of louvres.  These all featured locking handles for extra security.

The installation work was carried out during the winter season when the pavilion is used far less and ASWS was given possession of both of the changing rooms in turn, followed by the communal areas used for refreshments and club meetings. 

Kris Bennell concluded: “The old windows were a bespoke, heavy duty section, but were not deep enough to accept double glazing, and so we fabricated the new windows in the same style using W20 sections.  They have been fitted with 16mm IG units featuring toughened Low-E glass and argon filling to achieve a U-value of 2.9 W/m2K.

“This is one of the most important athletics facilities in London and the clients and the many people who use the place have been complimentary about the results.”