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Specified: Doors & windows

Jan-Carlos Kucharek

What's new in doors, windows and ironmongery

Conservation range

Mumford and Wood

Nice bit of splintering never did me any harm. The gentle bubbling of rain through perished putty is the music of my childhood. Kitemarked glass? Paff and piffle. Where are the ripples in that? And SBD security accreditation? A modern aberration! This engineered moisture-controlled Siberian larch lark is all very well, but give me an annual bucket of runny linseed paint over three pre-applied microporous spray-coats any day. Conservation range? Looks and performance? Mumford and Wood indeed! What does it think it’s doing?

Steel balustrades & doors


A scene cut from the cult sci-fi Disney film, Tron, features a neon youth theatre performing Bugsy Malone in an outdoor community space involving a lot of bright blue jeggings. This stage set is all that remains of the lost movie roll, sometimes happened upon by startled visitors to Eclipse at Slinford in West Sussex. It features concave patio doors, including a six panel door on the upper-ground floor, all fitted alongside over 26m of curved balustrades, adding an architectural swing to Tron’s otherwise orthogonal dance moves.

Residential door


Back in ’22, Carter and I were a tad concerned about the curse. But in we went through the matching front and garage doors, noting their concealed ingenious thermal core whose polyamide break was no doubt what had preserved the treasures within. The Boy King’s hasty burial was confirmed: the Ancients had neglected to secure its 5-point and 8-point locks, installed to deter intruders. It was mere misfortune that all who had laid hands on the wax seal securing the ropes around Origin’s furniture options perished horribly within months.

Aluminium glazing systems


If, as Sunderland has just done at Washington Leisure Centre, you’re spending £11m redeveloping and refitting a community sports facility, with sauna, steam rooms, pool, flumes, and even international-standard trampoline training, it surely makes sense to specify Reynaers’ multi-variant CW 50 and structurally-clamped CW 50-SC large-panel curtain walling, plus high-traffic non-insulated Vision 50 flush doors. For how else will passers-by be able to admire those exquisitely toned lycra-clad thighs on the treadmills?

EL490 motor lock

Abloy UK

When Crispin Pother, associate director of OMG Architects, disappeared from his Manchester HQ last week, concerned colleagues and family swept the area to track him down. He was eventually traced to this, a Pod Works workstation in a converted red telephone box. He refused to spring the electric Abloy locking solution for several hours, saying he at least had access to wi-fi, plug sockets, internet connection, printer, scanner, VOIP phone and free coffee and tea, even though he had to Sellotape all his drawings to the sides.

Wing access gate 

Boon Edam

The Winglock Swing gate was named after a little known dance craze that swept the Netherlands in the 1950s. Highly hazardous to physical health, the signature manoeuvre led to a spate of lowland hernias that still dog some of the older generation. This explains the hooks on many Dutch buildings: a whole generation was unable to lift heavy items and materials for girdles were in short supply. The gate’s ease-of-opening, supported by a floor plate, is a paean to freedom of movement, especially for those bearing novelty-footwork injuries.

Slim frame system


In the long-awaited Clintstones II movie, Donny Trubble occupies White Rock House to thwart Hilma Clintstone’s moment of glory in which she hoped to spend freely and right some of her jovial but sometimes foolish husband’s earlier wrongs. To regain credibility, she builds the Alder Hey Children’s hospital of grass and giant rocks, adding futuristic slim-framed Velfac windows to give excellent views and keep the cave warm and light. Will her liberal ruse reduce Trubble to rubble, or is she already a fossil? Tune in next week kids...

Windows, doors and rooflights

IQ Glass 

‘Let there be light’, we mutter  increasingly desperately at this time of year, when the miserable darkness of the winter months has lasted far too long. But at Warwick Hall in Burford, Oxon, the over-used quote from the good book has a more meaningful interpretation: redevelopment of community space attached to the grade II listed church is liberally sprinkled with minimally-framed glass doors, windows and rooflights from IQ Glass, revealing an enlightened approach to social responsibility and a welcoming view of the (albeit pagan) spring equinox.


Embodied carbon and how best to use limited resources took centre stage at the RIBA’s most recent Smart Practice conference

How can we break our addictions to fossil fuels, waste and consumption?

Strengthening the 18th century, timber-framed Corn Exchange and connecting it to an upgraded 1930s Studio Theatre were key to opening the arts centre to modern audiences

How FCBStudios and Max Fordham refurbished the listed Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre

Western modernism came to colonial West Africa and India, but with independence they made it their own. Tropical Modernism: Architecture and Independence follows the story

Locals made ‘progressive, optimistic’ style their own

Bid to be one of six to join a new four-year Somerset and Wiltshire framework, revitalise an historic East of England city centre or help tell the tale of Cornwall. These are some of the latest architecture contracts and competitions from across the industry

Latest: £6m West Country architectural services agreement

Will Burges’ self-build family home in suburban south London is inhabited and looks finished, but this flexible, future-looking house is intended to be a work in progress

It looks complete, but Will Burges’ house is intended never to be truly finished