300 sash windows restored at grade II listed Manchester University by Ventrolla

Key features: Commercial, Grade II Listed, Sash Windows, Renovation, Education, Ventrolla Perimeter Sealing System (VPSS), Sash Removal System (SRS), Victorian.

The Samuel Alexander building, part of the University of Manchester’s Language Centre, is located on a prominent site in Oxford Road and includes a library, multimedia suite and study area.

The edifice dedicated to Samuel Alexander, Professor of Philosophy (1893–1925), was inaugurated in 1919 to serve as the home for the Faculty of Arts.

Originally titled the Faculty of Arts Building, this neoclassical structure now serves as the primary residence for the School of Arts, Languages, and Cultures—an entity that encompasses the roles of the former Faculties of Art, Music, and Theology.

Samuel Alexander, whom the building is named after, was a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Manchester from 1893. Percy Scott Worthington, architect of the building and a prominent industry figure at the time, was awarded a gold medal from RIBA in 1930 and was also knighted in 1935.

Samuel Alexander (1859–1938), an esteemed philosopher and renowned figure in Manchester, is honoured in the building’s name. Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, he pursued philosophy studies in Oxford and delved into the emerging field of psychology during a visit to Germany. As the inaugural Jewish fellow of an Oxbridge college, he later held the esteemed position of Professor of Philosophy in Manchester from 1893 to 1925.


For this latest chapter in the building’s history, and part of a wider refurbishment project on most of the University buildings worth £14 million, the Samuel Alexander building now has newly renovated, single-glazed sliding sash and Venetian windows in keeping with its heritage.

The £220,000 project assigned to the Ventrolla specialists involved more than 300 windows being restored to their former glory and was completed in April 2014.

Ventrolla’s patented Sash Removal System (SRS) and unique Ventrolla Perimeter Sealing System (VPSS) were installed to combat draughts, reduce external noise and enable easy maintenance. All the inner windows were then woodstained and painted white to retain the building’s classic exterior.

David McGinnis of Graham Construction, contractor of the project said:

“I was very happy with the work carried out by Ventrolla on site. Due to the building’s difficult access requirements we only had small pockets of time to get the work completed, sticking to a tight schedule.”

“The Ventrolla team were professional and flexible. They understood the project and how important it was to upgrade and repair the existing windows to the highest standard.”


With over 40 years of experience, Ventrolla offers a tailored range of period window solutions including repair and renovation, new timber windows, double-glazed replacement sashes, 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.

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