The RIBA suggested an established building category for the Architectural Ironmongery Specification Awards several years ago, said the RIBA's Keith Snook, but this is the first year that 'significant entries' have been received. 'This was good to see at long last, ' he said. 'I was beginning to think that the ironmongery industry had no confidence in the durability of its products.'
Fellowship House was initiated by Goodenough College, a private trust, to provide accommodation in central London for overseas students and visiting academics. The project, for which Rolfe Judd was architect, comprises five 1840s houses forming part of Mecklenburgh Square, and new-build mews units to the rear. The existing Grade II-listed townhouses now form a single building, which has been refurbished to create 53 new bedrooms with en-suite facilities, an ancillary staff room, laundry and business centre. The new building at the back provides 12 one- and two-bedroom units .
The project involved restoration of the existing buildings, saving as much of the original fabric as possible. Ironmongery features a mixture of traditional brass and stainless steel finished door furniture, specified and supplied by the southeastern office of Cairney Hardware.
This includes Dorma closers, Willenhall traditional mortice locks and bespoke oval knob furniture in unlacquered brass, from Birmingham-based Frank Allart & Company.Of particular interest, said Cairney director Alan Thomas, are the brass Vingcard card access locks which, despite working independently (ie without wiring), are card-programmed at reception.
For the new mews building, Cairney specified stainless steel lever handles and Vingcard card access locks finished in stainless steel. It also manufactured a bespoke polished brass panel with video camera, and a wall-mounted telephone handset with integral TFT monitor, for outside the building's entrance.
Architect Rolfe Judd Architects Architectural ironmonger Cairney Hardware