GEZE Slimdrive SCR

Old meets new in Wollaton's grand entrance

The UK’s leading supplier of door and window control systems, GEZE UK, has sympathetically united Tudor architecture and a trendy glass entrance as part of a major restoration programme at Nottingham’s historic Wollaton Hall.

Nottingham City Council selected architect Jane Roylance from Purcell Miller Tritton and contractors Linford-Bridgman Ltd for the repair, restoration and conservation of the listed building. GEZE UK worked very closely with both the architect and contractor to create a glass entrance solution that could be installed without damaging the existing plasterwork or listed features.

While bringing the building back to its former glory, the key challenge was to ensure that the integrity of the Tudor structure was maintained, while enhancing the visitor facilities and complying with regulations. Providing access for all was a big factor throughout the restoration, so GEZE UK specified a Slimdrive SCR to create an all-glass semi-circular inner lobby that sits behind the original oak doors, forming a stylish, accessible, draft-free entrance.

Experts at GEZE UK invested a considerable amount of time in the final design of the lobby to ensure that the essential new entrance complemented the old building, using glass to create transparency and retain much of the original look and feel. The SCR was chosen for its operating height of just 7cm, making the installation almost invisible and enhancing the glass effect. It has also been designed and tested to meet the requirements of all relevant standards and regulations, including Building Bulletin 93, Approved Documents B and M, as well as assisting with the vigorous demands of the DDA.

Project Manager Ian Bird from Linford-Bridgman said: “The restoration of Wollaton Hall required a fine balance between the historical significance, current use and compliance issues so we chose GEZE UK for their experience at visitor attractions and with sympathetic renovations. By working in partnership, we were able to meet the client’s request for an all-glass façade and install the SCR without compromising the original features.”

GEZE's UK specification manager, Paul Wyatt added: "Attention to detail was of paramount importance at Wollaton Hall and our team of experts worked hard to develop a simple solution which would combine aesthetics, functionality and compliance. Our innovative Slimdrive SCR can fit a wide range of applications and it was the ideal choice for the new entrance."

GEZE UK is no stranger to working at high profile tourist destinations having previously worked for Dover Museum, the Whisky Heritage Centre in Edinburgh and Birmingham Tourist Centre.

The National Lottery, Heritage Lottery Fund and the European Regional Development Fund funded the Wollaton Hall Restoration. Set in over 500 acres of historic deer park, Wollaton Hall is a spectacular Tudor building, designed by Robert Smythson and completed in 1588. It is now the home to the Nottingham's Natural History Museum, and Wollaton's Courtyard Stables house the Industrial Museum, Steam Engine House, Visitor Centre and Yard Gallery.