Heritage windows complete the picture

The University of Manchester’s neo-classical Samuel Alexander building has been renovated as part of a £14m refurbishment project

A neo-classical grade II-listed building dating back to 1919 has been helped to retain its front facade by period window suppliers Ventrolla.

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.

For this latest chapter in the building’s history and as 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 Ventrolla involved more than 300 windows being restored to their former glory and was completed in April. Ventrolla’s patented sash removal system (SRS) and 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, contractors for 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.”

Samuel Alexander, who 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 knighted in 1935.


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