Probably the first roundhouse in the world was built in 1839 at the Grade II* listed Derby Railway Works.
By the time architects Maber took on the job of its restoration and transformation for Derby Colleges, the roundhouse had fallen into complete disrepair.
The challenges were considerable; on the roundhouse itself, the roof posed the largest challenge, both because of its poor state and because it offered one of the few opportunities to improve the thermal performance. Part of the reconstruction of the roof included the reinstatement of a circle of 48 trapezoidal rooflights, of which 36 had to open remotely using electric actuators. These roof windows needed to be 2.3m long and follow the line of the roof hip, but with straight bars.
These special versions of the Conservation Rooflight® provided the ventilation and thermal requirements, and, with their slender frames, matched the appearance of the roof windows in the original photographs.
The project also included 64 Û÷Studio Designer’ rooflights (closely linked Conservation Rooflights®) measuring up to 3m x 1.6m, installed on former carriage shops and engine sheds closely matching the runs of original rooflights.
The scheme as a whole has already featured in English Heritage’s recent “Constructive Conservation” book as one of 20 exemplar projects nationwide.