The Halifax Piece Hall and the Congregational Church - Double Glazing the Rose Window



Dating back to 1779, the Halifax Piece Hall was built as a Cloth Hall which acted as a hub for traders from all over the world. Due to the size and the prestige of the structure, the Grade I listed building is recognised as one of the most ambitious and outstanding Georgian buildings of its time. The hall was a crucial part of West Yorkshire’s economy and traded for more than 80 years until the 1970’s. From then, the Hall became a centre for small shops but never really took off as a ‘place to visit’.

After falling into a state of neglect and struggling to maintain shopping growth, Calderdale Council submitted a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund. Costing over 19 million, the two year project was set to restore the existing architecture with the added addition of an extension to create a thriving local point for residents, workers, shopper and tourists. The project also covered restoring the adjacent church which was destroyed by a fire in the early seventies. This would allow for a modern new library.

Touchstone was approached by LDN Architects to assist with the historic mullion and tracery windows. The main concern was the 5m Rose window which was made up from 81 individual shapes. A glazing solution was required that improved the buildings thermal and sound efficiency but didn’t compromise on the characteristics or aesthetics of the Church.

Touchstone’s solution meant that each individual shaped opening had to be hand templated in order to create a perfectly fitted window. By using Touchstone’s Insulead glazing system, it meant that each shaped opening could be double glazed. Touchstones lead profile offers a minimal sightline of only 20mm and is able to follow the outline of the stonework perfectly. Touchstone also incorporated their own Albion Crowne glass to promote an aged, slightly distorted appearance. However, the use of this glass didn’t compromise on the thermal and sound efficiency. For longevity, Touchstone used a 28mm unit with toughened glass on either side for additional security.

The result was a sustainable and thermally efficient solution allowing the historic building to be a stunning centre piece for the newly modernised Piece Hall. The whole project was approved by Historic England and gained a coveted Heritage Green Plaque on its completion. Touchstone is immensely proud of playing a small part in this fantastic project.

The major re-development of the Piece Hall is certainly paying off. More recently, the Halifax Piece Hall has gained valid publicity due to its impressive architecture which has been promoted through major live concerts. A series of global artists have been playing the venue for over 2 years and it is always a proud moment for Touchstone to see the Congregational Church and it’s prominent Rose window in the background.






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