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A Victorian arcade has been revived after a major restoration using expertise from period window specialist, Ventrolla.
The Grade II listed Arcade Chambers in Keighley, West Yorkshire, underwent extensive repairs including the refurbishment of all 41 windows in its front facade.
Arcade Chambers, a Grade II listed architectural gem nestled in the heart of Keighley, West Yorkshire, stands as a testament to the town’s rich heritage. The preservation of this historic building became a focal point for restoration enthusiasts and the local community alike. The comprehensive restoration project, spearheaded by a dedicated team of experts, included the meticulous refurbishment of all 41 windows gracing its front facade.
The restoration of a Grade II listed building involves navigating a delicate balance between preserving historical authenticity and incorporating modern functionality. Arcade Chambers, with its intricate architectural details, posed a unique set of challenges for the restoration team.
The £725,000 project was part of the Keighley Townscape Heritage Initiative, which is a £2.7 million grant scheme funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Bradford Council, with match funding from the property owner. The arcade features shops and a café, where the former offices above have been converted into 13 apartments.
The North Street building dates from 1898 when Keighley was a thriving textile town. Ventrolla was called upon for its knowledge to retain the original sash windows. The windows were renovated with the specialist’s patented Sash Removal System (SRS).
The journey began with a thorough assessment of each window. This involved a close examination of the existing materials, identification of historical features, and a comprehensive review of archival records to understand the original design.
The wooden window frames, showcasing the wear and tear of decades, underwent a detailed restoration process. Skilled craftsmen carefully repaired damaged sections, ensuring that the wood’s original integrity was preserved. In cases where replacement was necessary, wood replicas were meticulously crafted to match the historic profiles.
The historic charm of Arcade Chambers was embedded in its unique glazing patterns. The restoration included the careful removal and restoration of original glass panes. Where needed, damaged panes were replaced with handcrafted replicas to maintain the authenticity of the facade.
While preserving historical elements, the restoration team integrated discreet draughtproofing solutions. This involved the installation of weatherstripping and seals to address gaps and ensure that the refurbished windows not only retained their aesthetic appeal but also contributed to improved energy efficiency.
Arcade Chambers boasted distinctive architectural features that required customized solutions. Intricate mouldings, decorative sills, and arched detailing were carefully restored or replicated to match the original design, ensuring a seamless integration of the refurbished windows with the building’s overall aesthetic.
The extensive refurbishment of all 41 windows in the front facade of Arcade Chambers yielded remarkable results:
The unique Ventrolla Perimeter Sealing System (VPSS) was then fitted to combat draughts and reduce external noise. The sash cords were replaced, pulleys serviced and sashes correctly balanced to ensure the smooth and safe operation of the windows. Sue Oakley, Keighley Townscape Heritage Initiative Officer, said:
“Our remit is to restore historic buildings and bring vacant floor space back into use. This important project to bring the Arcade back to life and help regenerate the North Street and Church Street area of the town had to be carried out sensitively.”
“We chose Ventrolla to work on the front façade windows because of its specialist expertise and cost effective products. The windows were in a fairly good condition but they needed a general overhaul, new ironmongery, repainting and new cords.
“Ventrolla delivered a great job on time and on budget and we now have windows which look and work so much better. I would certainly recommend Ventrolla for other restoration projects.”
The refurbishment of all 41 windows at Arcade Chambers in Keighley, West Yorkshire, stands as a shining example of successful Grade II listed building restoration. This case study showcases the harmonious fusion of historical preservation and modern craftsmanship, proving that meticulous attention to detail can breathe new life into architectural treasures. Arcade Chambers, with its refurbished windows, continues to stand proudly, telling the story of Keighley’s rich history for generations to come.
With over 40 years’ of experience, Ventrolla offers a tailored range of period window solutions including repair and renovation, new timber windows, secondary glazing solutions and a wide range of window hardware.
The company’s head office is based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, and regional offices are also located throughout the UK.