A new angle on acoustics

Originally established in 1807, the University of Cambridge’s History Library was renamed The Seeley History Library in 1897 to commemorate the work of Sir John Seeley, historian, religious author and University Professor, for his “service to the Empire and the University”. The present library designed by James Stirling and completed in 1968 won a R.I.B.A Gold Medal in 1970 and has been listed by English Heritage.

The building features an intricate angled glass structure creating a light and airy ground floor library with a partial glass roof overlooked by numerous meeting rooms, some of which are cantilevered with viewing galleries looking out across the Library.

To afford students total peace and quiet the meeting rooms have been provided with secondary glazing but one room presented a significant challenge due to the many and varied shapes and angles used to create the viewing gallery. Selectaglaze, the UK’s leading secondary glazing specialist were approached to design and install a sympathetic solution. The existing glazing is a complex patent glazing roof construction with opposing pitches and multiple hips. The secondary glazing needed to run parallel and Selectaglaze used digital 3D mapping and modelling to perfect a solution that maintained the existing sight lines. The final result is both efficient and aesthetically pleasing.

Selectaglaze is a Royal Warrant Holder and has considerable experience working within listed, historic or landmark buildings. Secondary windows can greatly improve working and living environments whether it is for acoustics, thermal insulation or security. Each window is purpose made and fully constructed off-site allowing rapid installation with minimal disruption.

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