Windows are the eyes of a building – they let in light and give views out – and profoundly affect its appearance. In addition, traditional windows bear witness to the artistic, social, economic and technological developments of past ages. Their design and detailing were influenced by contemporary architectural fashion, and reflected the status of a dwelling (and often the individual rooms within it). They were further shaped by factors such as methods of taxation, building legislation and craft advances, particularly in glass manufacture.
An assessment of the significance of a window or windows and the contribution they make to the overall significance of a building is the key first step in deciding the right course of action. Surviving historic fenestration is an irreplaceable resource which should be conserved and repaired whenever possible. The significance of a historic building, both as a whole and in terms of its constituent parts, can be assessed by considering its heritage values, using the framework set out in Conservation Principles (2008).
The loss of traditional windows from our older buildings poses one of the major threats to our heritage. Traditional windows and their glazing make an important contribution to the significance of historic areas. They are an integral part of the design of older buildings and can be important artefacts in their own right, often made with great skill and ingenuity with materials of a far higher quality than are generally available today.
The distinctive appearance of historic hand-made glass is not easily imitated in modern glazing. Windows are particularly vulnerable elements of a building as they are relatively easily replaced or altered. Such work often has a profound affect not only on the building itself but on the appearance of street and local area. With an increasing emphasis being placed on making existing buildings more energy efficient, replacement windows have become a greater threat than ever before to the character of historic buildings and areas.
CRL Restoration are well versed in the restoration and (if necessary) the replacement of traditional windows in heritage and listed structures.
We provide a full service comprising the following: