Melbourne-based manufacturer Windows on the World created bespoke steel frames for the doors and windows at the newly renovated Prahran Hotel. 

Very popular in Melbourne’s most acclaimed cafes, bars and restaurants, steel windows and doors are an Australian trend that is expected to accelerate in the hospitality industry.

The newly transformed Prahran Hotel in Melbourne’s inner urban stretch is the latest example of a commercial venue that has embraced the unique design aesthetic of steel windows and doors. 

Prahran Hotel’s architect Techne provided a very specific design brief to Windows on the World for the bespoke steel frames required for the doors and windows. The builders and architects involved in the project explained that they needed to tie in the modern renovations with the classic 1940s façade and working class history of the public bar. Steel windows and doors delivered on the brief across three floors.

According to Techne Project Architect Steve McKeag, steel windows played a key role in delivering on their creative vision for this renovation. 

Director Brett Walsh of Visual Builders, the builders on the project said that they prefer to work with steel windows because of the raw, industrial feel they create inside a modern commercial space. 

Windows on the World Director Charlotte Atkinson comments that the sheer strength of steel combined with the slimline profile of steel window frames allows for panes of oversized glass that would not be possible with other materials.

Crisp, narrow profiles and simple joinery allow for large expanses of glass with minimal sight lines. A key feature of the hotel’s ground floor reveals an interior open-air courtyard surrounded by three walls of glass panels and beautiful steel frames.

The biggest challenge for Windows on the World on the project was creating the customised steel sections and mechanisms for the multi-panel sliding doors and a single 5m long counter-weighted servery window over the dry bar. 

Charlotte explains that the heavy glazed window panel lifts up easily and stays there until it is closed, which would not be possible with the traditional gas strut mechanism due to the height and weight of the massive glass panes and steel sections. 

The unusual 2240mm diameter circular windows fitted to the large concrete culverts on the building’s façade are a design highlight, and achieve their remarkable effect very simply with rolled 50 x 50 mm steel angle constructions and 30mm ‘T-Bar’ transoms and mullions. The steel frames were finished in double satin black powder-coat, and 6mm Viridian Energytech toughened glass was used for glazing.

Other high profile Melbourne venues that have already switched to the new look steel windows and steel doors include Chin Chin (CBD), Baby Pizza (Richmond), Golden Fields (St Kilda) and Alice Niven’s Café. New projects are planned in both Melbourne and Sydney.