Plumstead Library’s next chapter with a story of steel

by Francesca

Plumstead Library, originally constructed in 1903 and located in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, has recently undergone a dramatic renovation project. Having previously been under-used, the building is now a fully fit for purpose 21st century public library. This impressive transformation involved the creation of a community centre, a sport and gym centre and, of course, the restoration of the libraries for adults and children.

A significant part of the project was the full refurbishment of all 33 windows which included an impressive 124 individual window frames. For this important and large job, Steel Window Association member ASWS were entrusted with the completion. The library is a Grade II-listed building and so the work required careful consideration, planning and unparalleled expertise. Modernisation has been carried out in a way that bridges the gap between old and new, preserving traditional charm and increasing functionality at the same time.

In order to create the finished effects which can now be enjoyed, ASWS removed all windows for transportation back to their London workshops. Here the windows were blasted, repaired and decorated before being refixed and reglazed. This sizeable project involved an impressive 1326 panes of glass which were mastic-fronted in order to recreate the original putty sightlines.

ASWS’s work was not complete there as all of the building’s ironmongery was also extensively refurbished. On top of this, nine more recently replaced windows were replaced again, to improve quality and remain in keeping with the building’s original character. This challenging renovation was completed within a six-month time frame. Whilst the windows were in a state of severe disrepair and poor condition prior to the works, a spokesperson for ASWS has commented;

‘The actual refurbishment went incredibly well considering the windows were due for replacement, having protected the building for many decades. The finished product was excellent’.

The standard of work from ASWS has received high praise and compliments with Plumstead library’s fenestration transformation having pleased the client, architect and the main contractor.

For further information on the Steel Window Association, please visit: or call 020 3475 8049

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