Born in 1837, Samuel Lewis was to become famous and well respected throughout Great Britain as a financier and philanthropist. He began his working life at the age of thirteen, selling steel pens; later he opened a jeweller’s shop before becoming a financier and one of the country’s wealthiest men. Upon his death in 1901 he left an endowment of £670,000 (equivalent to £30m at today’s values) to set up a charitable trust to provide housing for the poor.
The Samuel Lewis Housing Trust completed its first properties in 1910 at Liverpool Road in Islington, north London with an estate consisting of 6 blocks of imposing five storey buildings. During the ensuing thirty years seven more developments were built throughout London; after which the Trust continued to develop and manage rented properties, becoming one of the largest providers of rented accommodation in the South East. In 2001 the Trust changed its name to Southern Housing Group to reflect the changing nature and scope of the organisation.
During the 1970’s the Grade II Listed Liverpool Road properties were reconfigured to create a greater number of units, in keeping with modern requirements for smaller dwellings, providing a total of 247 tenanted flats.
Southern Housing Group now is undertaking the complete restoration of the original single glazed box sash timber windows, many of which are in bays. The single glass could not be changed and in order to meet the required level of thermal insulation secondary glazing was proposed by architects Brodie Plant Goddard following consultation with the local authority’s Conservation Officer. It was a condition of the local authority’s approval that no additional sight lines be introduced. Selectaglaze assisted with the development of the scheme through provision of samples and meetings with tenant representatives. A slim secondary sash design was chosen to match the external window and allow blinds or curtains to be retained. A white powder paint finish ensures that they complement the newly painted primary windows and the needs of safety were met by incorporating toughened safety glass throughout. The outcome is a warmer, more comfortable environment with the additional benefit of high levels of noise insulation. The full project involving more than 1500 windows has been managed by Vinci with a full time on-site team to ensure close liaison with tenants.