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Clayworth Cottage

A fully wheelchair accessible, nature focused home

Clayworth Cottage, a 4,500 square foot new construction by Arkle Boyce London architects, was featured on Grand Designs TV for its seamless and thoughtful design, which can be attributed to the use of local materials like Chiltern flint and wood and the placement of wheelchair accessible doors.  Stepless transitions to each room with wide access are another important aspect of this project’s success.  The occupants can access every space and take in the views of the outside thanks to our frameless sliding doors, casement windows, clerestory glazing, and open corner sliding doors.   

The project begun shortly after one of the owners had an unfortunate stroke, this meant that the daily means of getting around the house would be completed while in a wheelchair. While designing the home the main focus was to bring the owners ease of living by ensuring every space, including the garden, could be wheelchair accessible with little to no effort.  

Floor to ceiling slim frame sliding glass doors at Clayworth House

Clayworth Cottage was featured on Grand Designs and shown on Channel 4 to tell the story from start to finish. The building process was undertaken by the owner’s son in co-ordination with Arkle Boyce London architects for a very difficult process which set the project back 4 months and cost the owners an extra £500,000.  

The building site was originally an old cottage house with a great deal of land surrounding it. The original structure was demolished so building work could begin. Due to the poor ground conditions and a combination of minor and major issues the glazing installation had to be completed earlier than scheduled.  

While this would usually be seen as a good outcome, the installation was made difficult because no cranes and heavy machinery could be used, once again because of poor ground conditions. IQ Glass used a high-tech robot to assist the install team with manoeuvring the glazing and getting the vast amount of glass into place. Due to focus being on accessibility, the minimal windows systems used had to have flush threshold tracking and be completely flush with the polished stone flooring throughout the home.  

Opening corner configuration with slim frame sliding glass doors at Clayworth House for wheelchair accessibility

A wide variety of minimal windows glazing was used on this project most noticeably slim sliding door systems with 21mm sightlines.  

The main sliding glass door system was specified to be 12900mm wide by 2800mm high. The size of the panes were calculated to be taller than the concrete beams set on the interior of the building. This was done to create an effect that the roof is floating without support. The system has a feature that means the single door shares a track with the main run of doors, so both the single sliding and main run of doors cannot be opened fully at the same time. The framing was aluminium with no extra coating or custom colour to allow the frames to be as invisible as possible. 

The high amount of glazing meant that the building was at risk of gaining the greenhouse effect which essentially turns heavily glazed projects into a high temperature space which would be uncomfortable for the residents. Minimal windows glazing achieves U value ratings of 1-1.1 which nullifies the greenhouse effect through exceptional solar control.  

The combined glass weight is approximately 1500kg which wouldn’t have been lifted without the glazing robot. The slim sliding doors have a Type 2 lock which is operated internally via thrust lever handle at 1.1meters above ground level for easy use especially for wheelchair users. 

All drainage for the ground floor sliding doors was by IQ Glass with the minimal windows sub base drainage frame feeding the water into this grill silver channel which went around the building.   

For more information about minimal windows® get in touch with the teamtoday. 

Call 01494 722 880

Jim Stephenson Photography