Selectaglaze secondary glazing enriches Art Deco revival of Hatfield’s most iconic building

  • 13 Dec 2019

Selectaglaze recently installed 104 secondary glazed units at The Comet Hotel in Hertfordshire, located at the junction of the Barnet by-pass with St Albans Road, just a short distance from the Selectaglaze office and factory.

The Art Deco Grade II Listed building was designed in 1936 by E.B Musman in the shape of the renowned de Havilland Comet DH.88 aeroplane. This building’s design, known as ‘Streamline Moderne’, symbolises a late type of Art Deco architecture and graphic design that appeared in 1930s as a response to the new optimism encouraged by modern technology. At the time of construction, the de Havilland airfield and aircraft factory was positioned just opposite the hotel.

Once known as the Ramada Hatfield, the Comet’s multimillion-pound refurbishment was assigned to contractor ISG Bristol and designed by architects Stride Treglown.

As part of the work, the 1980s extension was demolished and replaced with a new three-storey extension block, annexed to the rear of the hotel which has added a further 52 rooms which reflects and enhances the silhouette of the heritage building.

This new extension is shared with a student residential development. Furthermore, the hotel has additionally opened its own independent restaurant, ‘Element Bar & Kitchen’.

A replica of the Comet Racer, mounted on a 20ft high pylon stands outside the hotel. The fibre-glass replica aeroplane of the winner of the 1934 England -Australia air race, made in 1966 had been damaged over the years. It has now been repaired back to immaculate condition, thanks to de Havilland Aircraft Museum in London Colney.

The hotel had kept the building’s original crittal sash windows but this did not provide the required level of noise insulation to a number of the guestrooms, restaurant and function spaces for meetings and networking events.

As a solution, St Albans based Selectaglaze installed 104 secondary glazed units, with a cavity between the existing primary windows and the secondary units to significantly improve the level of noise insulation. The secondary windows were made bespoke to ensure the best fit and included four different systems, tailoring the units specifically to the project’s needs. All units were finished in white to mirror the original external windows.

The Series 20 vertical sliding units were faceted onto the curved on plan original bay windows on the ground and first floors. This was to provide adequate thermal and noise insulation to the restaurant and meeting room. The Function room was fitted with the Series 15 three-pane horizontal slider, which can support thicker glass when better levels of noise insulation are needed.

The majority of openings in the hotel guestrooms were treated with the Series 10 horizontal sliding unit, which is a versatile system that provides easy access to the outer window. This slimline unit has not only produced exceptionally quiet rooms thanks to noise insulation in excess of 45dB but will reduce heating costs, thus improving sustainability.

Also, four of the smaller windows on the first floor were treated with Series 45 side hung casements, with no new sight lines making it very suited to the hotel’s Listed status.

The new secondary glazing to the Comet will now help lower energy bills and afford the guests a good night sleep, along with those visiting the hotel guaranteed a pleasant and comfy experience.

Refurbishments like the Comet Hotel are often fast track projects requiring close collaboration between client, contractor and specialists. Selectaglaze has wide experience of working in buildings up to Grade I Listed and offers a technical advisory service and specification advice to guarantee correct interface with other trades.

Established in 1966 and granted the Royal Warrant in 2004, Selectaglaze is the leading specialist in the design, manufacture and installation of secondary glazing. Selectaglaze has vast experience in working on all building types from Listed offices to new build apartments.

An extensive range of literature and guidance notes covering acoustics, thermal performance and added security is available together with a free technical advisory service and RIBA approved CPD Seminars.


Alban Park,
Hatfield Road,
St. Albans,

Phone: 01727 837271
Fax: 01727 844053

Visit Selectaglaze's website

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