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Warm and quiet accommodation for the upholders of the law at Gray’s Inn

28 Jul 2021
Case study

Gray’s Inn is one of four Inns of Court in London, the furthest away from the Royal Courts of Justice and the smallest of the four (the other three are Lincoln's Inn, Inner Temple, and Middle Temple).

All barristers are affiliated to an Inn of Court.  The Gray’s Inn Estates provides a library, bar, dining hall, training and conferences for its members and students. The Inn also has extensive grounds that are open to the public during the day and are often used for corporate events. However, most of the the Inn’s buildings are let to barristers and commercial tenants and produce income to fund the Inn’s charitable activities.

Hidden amongst the London jungle, on the north side of Holborn, Gray’s Inn has a substantial estate, predominantly set around two squares and its gardens, better known as The Walks. The exact date of the establishment of the Inn is unknown; however, the earliest reference to it appears in 1370.  In the late 17th century it was devastated by disastrous fires and laid impoverished for years.

In 1802 rebuilding work began to restore damaged buildings and by 1825 The Raymond Buildings was completed, which was where Charles Dickens first started work at the high desk.

Ravaged by misfortune, the Inn was yet again subject to destruction from bombing during the Second World War, a lot of the buildings we see today are the result of that damage with rebuilding taking place in the late 1950s, although to retain the architectural heritage of the site the rebuilding was carried out in the same style.

Selectaglaze first started work at Gray’s Inn back in 1999, when one of the buildings was being converted to an apartment hotel for use by members. A total of 65 windows were treated with large Series 60 tilt-in vertical sliders, to match the off-set primary single glazing. The units were installed to improve the thermal insulation, as the original glazing was cold and draughty.

In 2017 a further 40 units were installed, again to areas used as residential accommodation for barristers and trainees alike. A mixture of Series 10 horizontal sliding units and Series 20 vertical sliding units were installed to provide thermal insulation as well as noise insulation for those apartments overlooking the noisy and busy Gray’s Inn Road.

The Estates team are systematically refurbishing key areas of the estate which have been identified as vulnerable and requiring upgrading to bring them up to 21st century standards. With such a high demand for space, the process is not as quick as they would like. However, the Inn’s Tim Bell comments;

Having worked with Selectaglaze for a number of years, whilst upgrading various areas of the estate, there is no doubt that their secondary glazing is of high quality and definitely raises the thermal and noise insulation of the original glazing, which can be noticed almost immediately. With much more work planned over the next few years, we look forward to continuing our relationship with them.”

With experience working on Listed buildings for over 50 years, Selectaglaze understands the quirks and challenges that these beautiful buildings present owners, when letting them out commercially. Therefore, sympathetic and discreet treatments are designed to blend in with the original windows, providing optimal benefits including; thermal retention, acoustic insulation and added security. Sign up  for monthly Selectaglaze e-bulletins, with recent updates, new blogposts and events.

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