Project Details:



Taylor Wimpey enlisted the specialist services of HLM Architects to address a number of unique challenges to the development of this site, previously the location of the original St Dunstan’s House, which was demolished in 1976. The site is located close to Grade 1 Listed Buildings and is in the Chancery Lane Conservation area, thus necessitating a very sensitive approach to the development. The design language had to respect the characterful architecture of the adjacent Grade 1 Listed Kings College Library, whilst at the same time incorporating a sense of the contemporary.

In addition Taylor Wimpey was seeking to deliver the optimum sales value per square foot of this development in the increasingly competitive London property market and to maximize the amenities for the residents and investors alike. HLM’s specialist Development Team, in close collaboration with Kings College’s own working group, revised a previously acquired planning consent to significantly improve the efficiency of the site, and also positively enhance the surrounding environs. By adding re-configured and generously sized triplexes at roof level, HLM Architects were able to deliver that all-important roof top space, so highly prized and keenly coveted by homeowners and investors alike, and which comes at a premium in the City of London.

Box skylights provide access to the spacious outdoor terraces

Key to unlocking this vital roof top space, whilst simultaneously respecting the roofline in this conservation area, was HLM’s specification of Glazing Vision’s innovative box skylights. Essentially a free-standing “glass box” these roof lights provided both technical as well as aesthetic benefits for the architects. In addition to four standard freestanding box skylights, Glazing Vision were able to precision-engineer two bespoke sized one-wall box skylights to meet the unique requirements of the re-worked layout. For the contractor these box roof lights, pre-assembled in-house, offered easy installation as they were delivered to site as finished boxes. The physical structure and the specification of the glazing negated the need for additional balustrading, thereby facilitating the full use of the terraced area.

A critical consideration for HLM architects, in specifying the Glazing Vision box skylights, was to optimize the headroom whilst complying with building regulations. The resident, at the simple push of a button, can climb the stairs whilst the skylight is retracting into its open position, without needing to “bow” his head, and can walk straight out onto the terrace. The secure manual override, and the low profile infra-red proximity sensors to detect movement during the open/close operation provide the fundamental safety features. An access keypad provided an additional benefit to the resident with regards comfort and security.

Sleek skylight design, maximal light

The minimal structural framework, powder-coated in grey to harmonise with the elegant interior décor, and the glass-to-glass joints of the box skylights reflected the clean, contemporary aesthetics at the heart of this residential development whilst successfully providing the desired seamless integration of the exterior and interior.

The large glazed sections of the box skylights ensured that these luxurious triplexes are flooded with natural light during the day and crowned with the stars at night. The small stairwell up to the box skylight, and the wide opening created by the retractable section make access to the terrace very easy for the resident, who will undoubtedly delight in the use of this highly valuable and generously sized outdoor space, whilst enjoying unadulterated views over the famous landmarks in this historic conservation area.

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