Smart windows and doors feature on Grand Designs

Image courtesy of Marlin Windows

A derelict mill in a Cumbrian hamlet was transformed over a three and a half year self build project into a stunning four-bedroom, four-bathroom house, together with workshop and office space. Featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs programme, the project saw a new timber-framed house made of structurally insulated panels (SIPs) built within the footprint of the existing mill building. Many of the original materials were retained or reclaimed and reused.

The blacking mill, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, had lain empty and deteriorating for 60 years and required full restoration. Marlin Windows, one of Smart Architectural Aluminium’s key partners, worked closely with the architect and client to design, fabricate and install 40 windows and seven doors as part of the project.

Adrian Martin, Marlin Windows’ managing director, said: “Our brief was to provide contemporary aluminium windows and doors with flat, square-edged profiles that would not only echo the design style and architectural lines of the building but would also maximise the natural light coming into it. We were also tasked with ensuring the colour and finish were sympathetic to the reclaimed stone and new timber facing materials, as well as the surrounding natural environment.”

For the main feature windows, the experienced Marlin team installed Smart’s EcoFutural system, with its slim profiles and ‘outstanding’ thermal efficiency enabling the maximum glass area to be achieved. Smart’s Alitherm 800 casement windows were used elsewhere, to provide natural ventilation and fire exit options.

Two, large Smart Visoglide Plus sliding doors were incorporated, to enhance the open-plan living space, flood the room with light and open up the panoramic views beyond. Slim frames maximised the glazed areas.

Kevin McCloud, Grand Designs’ presenter, said of the seven-metre-wide sliding doors: “That vast window is panoramic; it’s like a super-wide cinema screen. It almost completely fills my field of vision.”

Providing a stunning main entrance to the property, a wide Sherbourne door style from Smart’s high-performance Designer Door range was installed, featuring a low threshold for easy access and matching glazed side light. The company’s Alitherm Plus door system was installed for access to the workshop, utility and roof garden areas.

The windows and doors were all painted in textured Vulcan Black, from Smart’s sensations colour range, which was selected to harmonise with the local environment and adjacent materials. Eddie Robinson, Smart’s managing director, said: “This is a fantastic project, with huge credit going to Adrian and the team at Marlin Windows for the quality of the fenestration work. The products not only look magnificent in this unique project, but their thermal performance will make a significant contribution to energy efficiency.”