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Contemporary orangery with bespoke rooflights transforms family home

Building Products takes a look at an interesting case study where rooflights were installed in a north London home to create a flexible living space that would give the homeowners a space that could be used all-year-round

This extension, designed by award-winning practice Chris Dyson Architects, not only significantly increases the footprint of the client’s North London home, but also delivers a versatile living space for use all-year-round.

Bespoke rooflights, supplied by Glazing Vision, have flooded the ground floor with natural light, as well as help moderate the temperatures throughout the house.

The client was seeking to refresh the property by adding an extension to the rear, which would enable the existing ground floor spaces to be connected through a single flowing space, creating a welcoming and flexible environment for hosting their growing family and for entertaining guests.

The top floor bedrooms were accessed via a narrow hallway where a small dormer window provided minimal daylight and views of the garden. Creating a living space on this floor where the family could relax and enjoy some downtime was also said to be part of the client’s brief to Chris Dyson Architects.

Glazed openings
The design for the extension was a solid and robust structure that would integrate harmoniously with the main body of the house and would serve as more than just a “sunroom”. The traditional proportions of the classic orangery have been achieved by Chris Dyson Architects through the use of precast stone columns and five glazed openings, which connect the new internal space with a raised external terrace leading to the rear garden.

New internal glazed doors enable the formal dining room and the breakfast room/kitchen to be opened or closed to the main orangery space, providing flexible spatial and acoustic barriers without compromising the natural light entering the entire area.

For entertaining and parties, the space is said to be ideal, allowing people to freely move between rooms and out onto the garden terrace.

Maximising daylight
The insulated walls and the energy-efficient double glazing of the orangery will serve to keep the space warm in the winter months. In the summer opening the doors would help keep the space comfortable. To further regulate the internal temperature a full width rooflight from Glazing Vision was installed, equipped with sliding elements. Chris Dyson Architects says it chose Glazing Vision due to the high quality of its products and its ability to create bespoke solutions.

The architects worked closely with Glazing Vision’s specialist CAD designers and technicians to design custom rooflights to meet the exacting requirements of the orangery roof, as well as the new glazed dormer.

Given the exceptional size of the extension roof, 3,320mm x 10,900mm, Glazing Vision’s factory precision-engineered a special Dual Sliding Over Fixed Rooflight, comprising eight sections. The two end sections were manufactured to slide over the six fixed central sections, traversing in a side-to-side, rather than an up-and-down slope operation.

Normally supplied in a RAL7015 slate grey to the exterior and RAL 9010 pure white to the interior, the entire framework of this super-sized Dual Sliding Over Fixed Rooflight was supplied in a bronze finish, which was a key part of the architectural design.

With such a complex rooflight, with fixed and sliding sections, a quiet and efficient operation was fundamental to the specification. Electronically controlled at the touch of a button, each of the two sliding sections of glazing can be retracted easily, revealing generous openings, and sky-only views. An added safety feature is the manual override should the electronic control system stall.

Innovative use of rooflight
On the top floor, the existing narrow hall has been opened up and extended to create a new living space. The bespoke glazed dormer by Glazing Vision provides expansive views across the garden, and an abundance of natural light. A large bi-parting one-wall Box Rooflight, measuring 4,850mm in the width, was set into the sloping roof. At a total height of 1,700mm, the rooflight is also said to enhance the feeling of a loft in this relaxation area.

Supplied in six sections, the Glazing Vision Box Rooflight was configured such that the two central sections were bi-parting, sliding over two adjacent fixed sections. Two additional fixed sections and two fixed-end panels completed this fully glazed, customised dormer. In order to provide privacy from the neighbouring properties, and conform with Planning Regulations, these end panels were manufactured in satin etched glass.

Once the two sliding sections are retracted, there is an opening, which is said to give an almost balcony-like effect, and encourages the user to appreciate the garden vista. The Glazing Vision Bi-parting one-wall Box rooflight is said to help regulate the temperatures and the air quality throughout this upper floor, allowing fresh air to circulate when it is open. Rain sensors, offered by Glazing Vision as optional extras, were also installed to provide additional security should the weather suddenly turn inclement.

Form and function are said to be in perfect harmony, and the Glazing Vision rooflights will reportedly ensure that there is an ever-changing canopy to the spaces below.

To read the full case study, click here.