33 Marlborough Buildings, City Centre, Bath
33 Marlborough Buildings forms part of a terraced section of Grade II late 18th century townhouses situated within the Bath City-Wide Conservation Area and World Heritage Site. It forms part of the streetscape setting of the Grade I Royal Crescent and the Grade II Royal Victoria Park, as well as the immediate terraced setting of other Grade II listed buildings at 1-34 Marlborough Buildings. Due to its unbroken length and scale, the terrace dominates the streetscape with long, unobscured north-south views from Cavendish Road towards Lower Bristol Road. The principal street-facing elevation has retained a large degree of the terrace’s original, designed homogeneity with rusticated ground floor detailing and clean three bay façade, albeit with some later alterations in the addition of porches and elevation ‘stacks’.
The backland character of the terrace is eclectic in the mix of later extensions and alterations to the rear, as well as a greater variety of fenestration designs and profiles, though it is noted that the northernmost end of the terrace is somewhat more standardised in appearance and character. The rear is visible in public views from Western Road and Cow Lane, as well as forming the backdrop of the Ring Common allotments.
Both elevations of No. 33 incorporates a mix of window designs, including single pane, 2-over-2, and 6-over-6 pane sash windows. The windows are indicated to be a mix of original sashes and later Victorian additions by the applicant.
Proposals are for the reinstatement of traditional-style multi-pane 6-over-6 timber sash windows, which is generally supported where this would reinstate the original appearance of a listed building and the wider cohesive grouped appearance of the Grade II terrace. The existing windows are indicated to be later Victorian additions; replacement would therefore result in less than substantial harm which would be outweighed by the benefits of reinstating the building’s historic fenestration profile and enhancing the aesthetic consistency of the wider terrace.
Considering the scale of window replacement proposed along the terrace, we highlight the potential to embed thermal efficiency upgrades as part of the proposed works. There are further options for the use of more thermally efficient sash units, such as slimlite double glazing or vacuum glazing, rather than the proposed like-for-like replacement with single glazed sashes, to reduce heat loss and reduce carbon emissions in line with B&NES Council’s net zero objectives.
In response to the declared Climate Emergency, BPT is generally supportive of retrofit measures where this would be coherent with the special architectural and historic interest of a listed building and the wider character and appearance of the historic environment.
The upgrade of the existing windows to make them more energy efficient would constitute an additional public benefit.
The proposed sash window profile would implement 23mm glazing bars, which would likely be capable of taking slimlite glazing without further potentially adverse alterations to the glazing bar thickness or profile.
We therefore encourage the applicants to engage with us regarding possible retrofit options in this location, and the opportunity to create an exemplar case study for a large-scale window upgrade to a listed building within the World Heritage Site.