When steel window specialist, ASWS, was called in to advise on the condition of some early ‘F7’ type fenestration at the world famous Brooklands Museum, the birthplace of British motorsport and aviation, in Surrey, the company not only outlined a viable repair strategy for the heavily corroded casements, but also provided an enablement service to facilitate all of the other works being undertaken by the main contractor.
The museum occupies 32 acres of what was the world’s first purpose-built circuit, opened in 1907, along with four listed buildings, including the Edwardian Clubhouse and Members Hill Restaurant. The entire site was designated as a conservation area by Surrey County Council in 1989 and the museum itself opened in 1991.
The contract carried out by London based ITC Concepts Ltd on behalf of the trust which runs the site involved extensive repair and refurbishment work, which began early last year under the supervision of Brooklands trust’s own Clerk of Works. The windows are of the early ‘standard casement’ or F7 type frames typical of the era and have inevitably suffered from the exposed location on what was used as an airfield and aircraft factory during World War Two.
ASWS Director, Kris Bennell explained, “We have carried out a number of contracts like this for other clients in the past, such as at Farnborough Business Park, which was a very similar project. This project also had a need for enabling for, as we have increasingly seen in recent years we are asked to remove a window or screen from an upper storey elevation to provide access for a hoist or chute and store the frames safely at our secure facility until the client is ready for it to be reinstalled at the end of the work.”
“In the case of Brooklands Museum, we took all the elements of the old 1st floor steel screen back to our workshops in London where they were grit-blasted, repaired and completely redecorated before being putty-glazed to match the rest of the surrounding frames; before finally being reinstalled when ITC had completed all its refurbishment work. And in between time, our team spent some weeks on site conserving the half dozen large F7 windows there. These windows were also removed, blasted and fully redecorated and reglazed on site, while the museum and café remained open to the public.”
The Site Manager for ITC Concepts Ltd., Shane Allen, confirmed, “I hadn’t worked with ASWS before, but taking that window out to facilitate the access we needed was an ideal solution in the circumstances, while their restoration work carried out on the ground floor windows in the café also went very well.”
ASWS is a long-established member of the Steel Window Association and well recognised expert in the repair of metal windows, from the earliest wrought iron examples through to contemporary curtain walling. The family run business is frequently called upon to prepare condition surveys during the appraisal stages of a project, which then become part of the planning or listed building permission process. The company also maintains a very large stock of ironmongery and metal frame components to assist in its restoration work.