Selectaglaze protection in Auckland Castle rescue

  • 14 Jul 2021

The 900-year-old Auckland Castle sits in a prominent position facing the River Wear, surrounded by formal gardens and 150 acres of picturesque parkland. It is one of the best-preserved bishops’ palaces in all of Europe and is at the heart of The Auckland Project and now features glazing from Selectaglaze.

The Auckland Project has spent approximately £50m in its restorative work, which also consists of a £12.4m grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. Working with Meldrum Construction and architects Purcell, Selectaglaze provided several bespoke secondary glazing solutions to compliment the castle’s refurbishment. 

Due to the castle’s Listed status, any measures taken had to be sympathetic to the building’s elegance and historical significance. As secondary glazing is a discreet and reversible adaptation, it is perfect for Listed properties and can provide an unseen level of security and protection to any building type, as well as raising thermal performance and noise insulation.

The ornate, geometric windows leading into one of the new galleries were treated by Selectaglaze. The grid-like designs, punctuated with an interlacing pattern, depict the arms of John Cosin (Bishop of Durham 1660-1672). He transformed the medieval great hall in the castle into the private chapel of the Bishops of Durham.


Gothic styled rooms 

A group of Gothic styled rooms not previously open to the public have now been repurposed as a gallery space. Selectaglaze’s slimline secondary units in the gallery, that are curved at the top, fit perfectly against the primary windows in the exhibition space. This is very discreet for a heritage environment like Auckland Castle.

Meldrum’s contract also included the construction of an environmentally regulated extension for a new ‘Faith Museum’ adjoining Auckland Castle.  The new Scotland Wing extension is clad in quarried sandstone from Cop Crag in Northumberland. It will house an exhibition charting the impact of faith on the British Isles. 

Spanish Gallery

Selectaglaze has also installed several additional units in the Spanish Gallery. It is inspired by a series of Zurbarán masterpieces, which have been in Auckland Castle for the last 250 years. The new gallery is also due to open in Bishop Auckland Market Place. 

Selectaglaze secondary glazed units diminish heat loss by between 50% – 60% using standard glass and up to 65% with a thermally efficient glass (low-E). 

High performance compression seals will virtually eliminate drafts and guarantee much greater comfort near the window. In addition, they will reduce noise levels by 45dB. This can achieve World Health Organisation guidelines for quiet environments, perfect for galleries.

The newly renovated rooms are now far better equipped to house exhibitions and museum collections. Selectaglaze is proud of its involvement in a restoration project that will generate a legacy for Bishop Auckland.

To read another Selectaglaze project, a secondary glazing church in Bolton, click here.


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