Wow factor glazing in Muswell Hill

Wow factor glazing in Muswell Hill

Glazing plays a critical role in Granit Architects’ projects and we are familiar on the technical challenges that it can pose. We and Cantifix are delighted to complete the installation of a spectacular glass extension to a first floor flat in Muswell Hill, North London. It is the culmination of months of coordination and planning to ensure a smooth process on the day.

The Brief

Our client approached us in 2020. They wished to elevate their much-loved but under-used outdoor terrace into a comfortable room that they can use all year round. The terrace boasted exceptional views of Alexandra Palace, and framing the vista became a core driver for the project.

The Process

We interrogated design options at the start with the client. To preserve the views, we stripped back the designs to a minimal structural glass appearance.

A planning application for a first-floor extension followed. The proposal was the first of its kind for the area. Closely liaising with Haringey Council, we addressed all concerns of overlooking and overshadowing. The granting of planning permission without issue established an exciting precedent.

Making it work

With framing and structure removed from the design, we advised that the need to engage with a specialist glazing supplier. Having worked extensively with Cantifix before, we approached them with the brief and they advised from the outset on design considerations. Solar coating and hydrophobic layers were incorporated to reduce overheating, solar gain, and cleaning requirements.

One challenge was the integration of an opening window within the glass for ventilation, but with minimal framing that could spoil the views. Working with Cantifix, a high-level opening window was integrated into the side panel, wholly supported by the glass itself. The end result was a self-supporting glass structure consisting of only three panels, with the largest weighing 450kg.

The Installation

As works commenced on site, another significant challenge was the installation method. We held discussions with numerous crane contractors on how to safely, quickly and cost-efficiently move and install the glass. A plan was produced to carefully navigate the panels down a narrow side passage. A spider crane in the tight rear garden would lift the panels into position, with the Cantifix team completing the installation. This negated an expensive lift over the building from the street, which would have required a disruptive road closure.

It was a mammoth effort of coordination and communication between the installation team, lifting team, and main contractor on the day. Nonetheless all panels were successfully installed.

With the recent wintery weather, being able to experience the spectacular views from the comforting warmth of the conservatory is a testament to the work of all involved.

We are excited to soon see the final completion of the remainder of the works to the flat and for our client to enjoy the fruits of the labour involved. Stay tuned for the final completed photographs.