Smythe Library, Tunbridge School, Kent

Future Fire Solutions are very proud to have collaborated with Buxton Building Company and BDP Architects on the 6 million pound refurbishment of the Smythe Library at the prestigious Tonbridge School in Kent, which was completed in 2016.

Innovative design solutions

The remit of our works was the design, manufacture and installation of internal and external, fire-rated and non-fire-rated glazing solutions, in order to provide the highest standards of protection and thermal performance. Utilising the latest innovations in steel glazing systems whilst enhancing and maintaining the sleek, modernity and aesthetic of this landmark building.

The majority of the glazing was specified as the Schuco Jansen Arte System, which was a relatively new system designed specifically to facilitate the refurbishment of historical steel framed windows by offering a robust and strong, thermally broken profile that is able to accommodate performance D.G.U’s whilst allowing for fine and narrow sight lines.

The libraries most striking feature is a four storey façade of independent, full height Bay Windows installed when the building was constructed in 1962, all of which needed replacing.

Minimal site disruption

As the library is the hub of a working Boys Boarding School, Tonbridge, we were tasked to provide a design solution that minimised time on site and therefore disruption to the school’s day to day running.

Our highly trained factory team designed an innovative fully welded and fabricated solution that allowed the frames to be manufactured as a complete element – with all three panes part of one welded frame.

Working closely with our Powder Coaters we designed a PPC process that could accommodate the fully manufacture bays during curing thus ensuring evenness and quality of finish throughout.

These design solutions allowed each Bay to be installed with minimal onsite adjustments during fitting which hugely simplified the install and dramatically reduced the time required on site.

Renovation of a historic building

We were also able to manufacture fully welded and shaped window cills and perimeter trims which allowed us to link the new windows to the existing decorative Window Head Cladding which was retained and the existing stonework of the historic façade.

Future Fire Solutions also upgraded both internal and external passive fire-resistance elements which were manufactured from Schuco Janisol and Janisol 2 profile systems designed to facilitate uniformity with the Arte System and provide bespoke solutions to ensure varying performance and safety criteria were achieved, whilst implementing a strong sense of design and modernity befitting such a prestigious centre of learning.

The newly refurbished library was opened in November 2016 by HRH Princess Alexandra, some 50 years after she opened the original building.

"Future Fire Solutions were privileged to be involved in such an important and significant project and we are immensely proud that our workmanship will enhance the development and learning of future generations of Tonbridge Boys."

Jenny, Future Fire Solutions

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