Victoria & Albert Museum, London


Roofglaze was contracted to install over 700m² of new roof glazing to the Cast Courts gallery at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum, as part of a major refurbishment project by main contractor Coniston.

A survey had revealed that the existing tiered vaulted roof was single glazed and many panes had cracked. There was significant heat build-up in the roof area contributing to the problem and the roof had started to fail.

Having previously worked on a variety of diverse and prestigious projects, Roofglaze was called upon to provide design and installation expertise to maintain the integrity of this historic building.

The design team put forward a scheme using an aluminium framed, thermally enhanced patent glazing system by The Lonsdale Metal Company – selected to replicate the existing barrel vault layout of the roof glazing.

The five-tiered barrel vault layout features a dual-pitch lantern at the apex, with vertical glazed infills. The whole structure was fabricated using Lonsdale’s Spangard, which is a self-supporting rooflight system.


“A design that combines traditional aesthetics with modern standards”

All sloped surfaces on the new roof glazing were specified as double glazed, hermetically-sealed units with high performance 6mm solar controlled toughened outer glazing panes and 6.8mm inner panes.

The vertical glazing was specified as 4mm thick clear toughened soft coat Low-E glass.

The glazing bars and aluminium press work have all been polyester powder coated in Iron Grey (RAL 7011), providing an appropriate finish with long-term weatherability

As well as excellent thermal performance, the Spangard system offers excellent aesthetics. Box rafter construction allows invisible fixings and a low-profile appearance that is desirable for new-build as well as important refurbishment applications like this.

This type of construction also contributes to ease-of-installation, keeping on-site time to a minimum and allowing the Roofglaze installation team to complete this complex and demanding project well within schedule.

Richard Etridge, Contracts Manager at Coniston, commented: “We need to be confident in our sub-contractors on every project – and in particular on high profile ones like this. We know Roofglaze well, having worked together previously. That confidence, plus their knowledge of the Lonsdale system, made them the obvious partner in this case”.

Nicholas Witherick, Estate Manager at The V&A, said: “We’re delighted with the new roof, which maintains the period look of the original, while conforming to modern standards and the installation team were discreet and professional”.

If you require any further information, then please do feel free to contact us with your inquiry.