With their distinctive redcoats and fascinating personal histories, the Chelsea Pensioners are arguably the UK’s most famous retirees. The Royal Chelsea Hospital residents are deserved beneficiaries of a purpose-built safe haven for elderly veterans, which King Charles II initiated in the 17th century. The 300 veterans who live there have all served at least 12 years in the British Armed Forces.
Over recent years, the building has been undergoing extensive renovation and modernisation while being sensitive to its historic fabric and aesthetic legacy. This £13 million restoration brings the West Wing up to 21st century standards allowing residents to have their own bedroom with en-suite shower room facilities and study.
As part of this process, the overall energy efficiency of the building needed to be improved. Storm Windows, specialists in providing bespoke secondary glazing for historic buildings, were commissioned to fit secondary glazing at the hospital.
The aim was to make each room warmer and more comfortable for the residents while driving down energy costs. This had to be done in keeping with the overall aesthetic of the building.
Working with with London-based architects, Peregrine Bryant we were asked to make the living quarters of the Chelsea Pensioners’ Grade I and II listed home more comfortable is a true honour, giving them warmer and quieter accommodation.
Our glazing system required rigorous testing, passing through numerous stages of approval, and we made a number of adaptations to our design to create units that perfectly fit their requirements. We also used a new, non-reflective glass which we imported from Germany.
The new, improved unit design allows for the windows to be fully opened, which wasn’t possible before. It also has better ventilation and is spring adapted, so it’s a more balanced system and easier to control.