Frameless glass screens to protect heritage features
Making internal structural changes to the body of a building can raise floor levels so that windows, especially stained glass windows, previously high above ground level become accessible and at risk of damage.
This is often a consideration in churches and heritage buildings where a mezzanine floor has been installed to increase space.
The optimum solution is to install a frameless glass panel, or protective glass balustrade, in front of the original window. A sensitive approach to design and installation is needed to ensure the surrounding stonework isn’t damaged while at the same time protecting the window and meeting current building specifications.
The new gallery floor at St Andrew Undershaft is reached via a new staircase that sits directly in front of the splendid stained glass windows and a barrier was essential for protection.
A series of individual glass panels was installed in front of the stone mullions using purpose made stainless steel supports and spider fixings to stand the glass off the stone and avoid any damage to the carved surface. The result is a stylish span of glass at the side of the stairs that highlights and protects the leaded windows without obscuring their intrinsic beauty or blocking natural light.
The glass panels were designed to match the frameless glass balustrade installed to the front of the mezzanine floor and the glass balustrade on the staircase itself.
At St Peter’s Church in the village of Dunchurch, near Rugby a new bell-ringing platform in the church tower created a room at the same height as the stained glass window. An over-sized glass panel was manufactured to fit in a single span in front of the window with bespoke stainless steel fixings to hold the glass in place. The glass panel is unobtrusive but protects the window from users of the bell-ringing platform.
The glass panel reflects the style of the large glass screen that encloses the new bell-ringing chamber and the glass balustrade at the front of the platform.