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How to bring daylight into the dark core of a period home

Smart specification of a series of heritage-style roof windows opens 1920s home in Tynemouth up to the skies

In association with
Like they've always been there: Velux Heritage conservation roof windows at the 1920s property in Tynemouth, North Shields.
Like they've always been there: Velux Heritage conservation roof windows at the 1920s property in Tynemouth, North Shields.

When a couple bought an Edwardian semi-detached villa in the Tynemouth conservation area, they reached out to architects Spence & Dower to help them reimagine it as a forever home.

The property was built between 1900 and 1929 and it was essential to preserve and enhance the house’s character and appearance.

While they had six big double bedrooms, there weren’t enough bathrooms and the living space felt cramped. The loft area consisted of one small rooflight in the landing and an internal window in the bathroom towards the landing.

The design process focused on addressing the family's needs (the couple have two children) while respecting the property’s heritage.

Three key iterations were proposed for the loft area by the architects:

  • Six Velux roof windows to bring in additional light and make the loft space feel more open.
  • A further roof window above the redesigned shower room to allow the loft platform to have two windows for stargazing in different directions.
  • Three linked roof windows between the exposed purlins on the dark top landing of the stairwell to bring daylight and fresh air through the building.
  • Bringing sky views to the extended and refurbished shower room.
    Bringing sky views to the extended and refurbished shower room.
  • Double installation above the stairwell brings light and natural ventilation to the core of the building.
    Double installation above the stairwell brings light and natural ventilation to the core of the building.
  • From left: Velux Heritage conservation roof window above the shower room and stairwell.
    From left: Velux Heritage conservation roof window above the shower room and stairwell.
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Loft bathroom space transformation

The bathroom on the top floor didn’t have external windows, but it did have an internal one facing the indoor landing area. Therefore, it was necessary to open the bathroom loft area to install a ventilation system.

The clients were keen on following the proposal but, during construction, Velux launched its Heritage conservation roof window. The sleek and subtle low-profile design harmonised seamlessly with the house’s style.

Once the first Velux Heritage conservation roof window was installed in the bathroom, its transformative effect was clear. The couple then decided they wanted the same effect on top of the central staircase.

Opening up the stairwell

Two Velux Heritage conservation roof windows were installed between exposed purlins to brighten the dark top landing and extend into the adjacent shower room. This allowed daylight to flow through the central staircase of the house and maintain the natural ventilation flow.

This installation in particular has given the property an immediate influx of daylight and a fresh ventilation flow through the central staircase. The large Velux Heritage conservation roof window in the bathroom also features a hand winder so it is easy to air the space and ventilate it thoroughly.

'While the installed rooflights are different in size and number from what had been put in the planning application, they look very good incidentally,' says Tim Bailey, head of practice at Xsite Architecture LLP, Spence & Dower's sister practice.

The project has created a versatile and inviting space for the family to enjoy for generations to come, while preserving the heritage of the building.

For more on the case study and on Velux Heritage conservation roof windows, go to velux.co.uk/heritage

Contact:
architecture@velux.co.uk 


 

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