Is it possible to reproduce antique windows? The question arises about houses or ancient villas that need renovation and also require intervention on some relevant architectural elements such as windows.
Generally these are fine antique windows and doors, made by expert craftsmen. They contribute to the aesthetics of the building and add value to the property. But antique doors and windows appear today often damaged or worn. Therefore they constitute one of the home’s weaknesses in terms of energy saving.
To deal with this type of windows we can choose between two ways:
It is possible to reproduce an original window according to the style and age of the building, but to do it properly we have to blend the modern technological requirements and the historical-artistic identity of the building. The goal is to restore the building and give it its former glory, by enriching it with the correct thermal and acoustic insulation.
Until the last years of the past century, the recovery of the ancient window was carried out through carpentry repairs and not with a real restoration.
But, right from that period, many designers and architects supported by the Superintendencies of Fine Arts began to consider the recovery of ancient windows and glass doors as an indispensable way to safeguard precious historical evidence.
In fact, they are real works of historical, aesthetic and cultural value. The restorer who has to work on them is required to have a great technical-artistic experience and considerable skills in the historical, architectural and stylistic fields.
Ancient windows often show significant structural damage or an advanced state of decay that sometimes leads to the need to reproduce missing or deteriorated details.
The restorer involved in the recovery of an ancient window works with the support of companies specialized in the sector, to achieve a result that combines the original style and aesthetics with modern thermal and acoustic insulation.
Each single window is subjected to an examination:
These data are indispensable for the reproduction of the ancient window. Once collected, it is possible to proceed with the restoration phases:
As part of the recovery of the antique window, the glass must not be forgotten. If they have a certain value, they can be recovered, otherwise it is possible to replace them with new double glazing by inserting special sealing gaskets.
A restored ancient window returns to new life, maintaining its original style, material and color and helping to enhance the building it belongs to. Furthermore, it allows posterity to appreciate the construction techniques and the artistic peculiarities of the craftsmen who have created them.
The creation of new style windows is recommended if they are heavily deteriorated and too difficult to recover.
It is possible to reproduce all the ancient windows or just some of them to preserve the original charm of the building. To harmonize the style of the new and existing ones, techniques and materials are used to make the modern product almost indistinguishable from the old one.
The creation focuses on maintaining the original style, measures and shapes and the technical details of the window frame, such as the presence or absence of cover frames. It is also important to respect the aesthetic specifications of the building, such as the presence of finishes and architectural elements typical of an ancient window.
In addition, the creation of excellent new style windows requires a compromise between “vintage” aesthetics and solutions that ensure cutting-edge technological performance (use of double glazing, thermal break, sealing, protective paint, triple seals, etc.)
This combination allows historic buildings to achieve energy saving values that comply with current regulations.
But let’s see what are the steps in the creation of new style windows:
A work done according to these directives leads to the creation of windows and doors that are perfectly integrated with the facade of the building and are efficient from a thermoacoustic and energy point of view.
But which materials can be used to reproduce ancient windows and doors?
Since it is possible to carry out both the recovery of old elements and the construction of new style ones, it is clear that different techniques are used and a wide range of materials are used.
In case of restoration, the most used material is undoubtedly wood, treated with specific products, selected with great care to highlight its shades, colors and veins.
In case of a new installation, Stainless steel window frames can be easily painted and film-coated, or we can use wood-effect metal frames , which are similar to ancient structures.
Stainless Steel is a material with great mechanical resistance, suitable for customization. It is perfect in case of non standard windows and doors, as it is for most historic buildings. It is perfect for the construction of very thin frames, used in anti-burglary solutions.
The ancient glasses represent a key element for the recovery and restoration of antique windows.
However, if it is not possible to keep the original glass, which materials can be used? It is possible to use double glazing, that is an insulating glass consisting of two or more glasses separated by gas or dehydrated air, supported by a double sealed light metal frame.
In the process of reproduction, even antiqued hardware deserves specific attention. Bolts, locks, handles, doornails, door and window plates are generally made of brass and antiqued iron, expertly crafted by skilled craftsmen.
The materials used and the technical skills of the artisans contribute decisively to the success of a project for the recovery of ancient windows that restores nobility and functionality to the historic building on which the intervention is carried out.
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