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Tooting Library Resplendent in Glazing


Crittal steel windows have been instrumental in the restoration of the iconic and landmark Tooting Library in London. A two year programme to restore the building was completed at the beginning of this year, at a cost of over £3 million.

The Edwardian structure was originally built in 1902, funded by the generous outgoing mayor of Wandsworth, and today, it attracts over half a million visitors a year. Both the interior and the exterior of the library were in need of an upgrade, and designs were submitted by architects, NPS London Ltd. to bring the facility up to date and in keeping with contemporary, modern energy requirements.

Externally W20 profiles from the Crittall range were specified to replace the existing steel windows. Slimline and unobtrusive, the profiles provide strength and security, without detracting from the visual appearance of the building. Crittall was also tasked with replicating certain familiar features. According to project architect, John Miller, the aim was to retain as much of the original architectural style as possible. “Not only were the profiles replicated by Crittall to match, but the company also became heavily involved in the replicated design of the art nouveau-style, floral-patterned leaded lights to a number of the windows on the ground floor,” he explained. This unusual design feature was retained as it was seen as key in retaining the charm and character of the building.

Similarly, the full height bay window which is a major eye-catching element of the design, involved Crittall’s expertise, with glazing supplied in a wide plate of colours to create a visually striking effect both inside and out.

Crittall also were responsible for the manufacture of exact copies of the original window fittings which were required to add further to the aesthetic goal of the project.

“The result is exactly as we, and the client, wanted,” concluded Mr Miller. “The windows have been replaced – and some new ones added to the new extension that we have built onto the existing structure – all in keeping with the architectural style of the original.“ Crispin & Borst, (now part of Vinci Construction) acted as main contractor on the project.

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