Top Flat, 9 Lansdown Place West, Lansdown, Bath
9 Lansdown Place West forms part of the Grade II late 18th century terrace of monumental townhouses at 1-9 Lansdown Place West, situated within the Bath conservation area and World Heritage Site. It significantly contributes towards the grouped historic and architectural value of the complementary planned setting of the Grade I Lansdown Crescent, as well as the flanking Grade II Lansdown Place East. The area remains hugely significant in its presentation of Georgian monumental architecture and town planning, and the designed visual homogeneity and harmony throughout the Lansdown Crescent assemblage which contributes to Bath’s World Heritage OUV. 9 Lansdown Place West is of increased visual prominence from along the Sion Hill approach and the south-eastern corner of Somerset Place due to its position at the end of the curved terrace and distinctive “c1840 semicircular plan wing to left with stone bracketed eaves and good cast iron balconies to first and ground floor” (Historic England).
In the light of the declared Climate Emergency, BPT is generally supportive of retrofit measures that protect elements that contribute to the special architectural and historic interest of a listed building; alterations are expected to be visually coherent with the character of the building, and the wider shared character of the two listed buildings and surrounding conservation area.
In principle, BPT is supportive of the installation of secondary glazing to improve the thermal performance of the building whilst minimising possible detriment to its distinctive historic characteristics. Secondary glazing allows the retention of historic or historic-style sash windows, and would constitute a less invasive, reversible measure with limited harm to historic fabric. We therefore feel that this measure would be a positive, easily reversible addition to improve the energy efficiency and residential comfort of a historic building and ensure its long-term, sustainable use with a low visual impact.
The majority of the windows proposed for retrofit are located in the rear semi-circular wing which is a later 1840 addition; the proposed works would therefore be focused in an area of lesser historic significance with resulting lesser impact, rather than affecting 18th century fabric.
We maintain the use of magnetically-fixed secondary glazing as a minimally invasive and easily reversible addition to improve the energy efficiency and residential comfort of a historic building and ensure its long-term, sustainable use. The proposed glazing model would allow the sashes to open and therefore retain their existing function and capacity for natural ventilation.
However, we maintain that further proposed context sections are required to better demonstrate how the glazing would interact with the windows as a whole to ensure that the specialist characteristics of this listed building are appropriately sustained and enhanced. For instance, we note that despite the curved elevation of the rear wing, the windows appear to be set back within bowed window reveals and therefore the glazing is presumed to be ‘flat’. We therefore suggest that this is clarified as to whether the fitting of specially bowed secondary glazing is required, or any further details regarding the bespoke approach required to the unusually articulated elevation of a listed building.