Ion Glass working on behalf of Tasker Catchpole Construction of Hove, East Sussex in conjunction with Miller Bourne Architects of Hove.
The Grade II Listed, Victorian Tamworth Assembly Rooms had secondary glazing installed by Selectaglaze as part of a multi-million-pound project to refurbish and restore the much respected theatre, marking a new era of leisure and entertainment for the people of Tamworth and beyond. The acoustic efficiency of its arched casement windows has improved significantly as a result.
It has hosted many famous performers over its 130 year service; with the Beatles playing there in 1963, just months before being shot to stardom. The venue gradually fell into a state of disrepair and closed its doors to the public in 2016.
A substantial refurbishment was needed to upgrade existing spaces, as well as the addition of extensions to create a bar/café area, a studio, green room and enhanced backstage facilities – it has been modernised throughout with improved acoustics, heating and lighting. Novus Property Solutions undertook the work, ensuring all the historic features were conserved.
The original large curved casement windows in the main theatre area needed much love and attention. For over 40 years the auditorium had not had any natural light, as the windows had been boarded up to provide black out for productions as well as to try and block out some of the external noise from the busy car park and bus terminal outside the building. A solution was required to combat the noise levels, so Novus contacted Selectaglaze to discuss an appropriate acoustic secondary glazing solution.
As well as providing a more effective sound barrier than double glazing, secondary glazing is generally the only accepted solution for Listed buildings and those in conservation areas. Selectaglaze has designed a wide range of products which blend with historic environments whilst providing significant noise attenuation.
The Series 41 side hung casement was specified to the clerestory windows in the main theatre as it is a heavy-duty framing system ideal for large windows. With the openings measuring around 2.5m (h) x 1m (w) a robust solution was needed. One of the windows needed clearance to open over the side of the balcony seating platform; therefore, it was decided to split the opening by transom coupling a Series 43 demountable fixed light and Series 41 unit.
Once all the windows were repaired and ready to house the secondary glazing, the timber sub frames were fixed back to the brick masonry without disturbing or damaging the existing lime plaster. These were specially designed with a 300mm wide flat surface at the centre of the soffit to allow for the positioning of motorised blinds which were to be used to black-out the theatre during performances.
The much-loved theatre can now embark on a new chapter in its history having sympathetically enhanced and restored the historic features which make it such a special building.
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