Contemporary architecture increasingly features large glass surfaces that not only make interiors feel more spacious and create spectacular external views to be enjoyed but also provide passive solar gain. Glass can be used to create architectural features, connecting internal and external spaces and maximise the feeling of light and space in living and work areas.
As an architect, when you’re in the process of designing or redesigning a residential or commercial building, you play a key role in the positioning of the property’s glazing. It’s important to be able to recommend and source architectural glazing that’s inherently strong and secure enough for both domestic and commercial installation, with slim aluminium frames capable of supporting significantly larger glass panes than uPVC and timber alternatives; resulting in improved U-values and thermal efficiency too.
This article is designed to raise awareness of the wide variety of architectural glazing systems available to architects and building developers to be incorporated into the design of any redeveloped home or workplace to improve its appearance and efficiency.
Glass canopies, also known as glass verandas, embrace a traditional style of architecture and can be installed above a decked or patio area or even a property entrance, creating a walkway or space that’s protected from the elements. A canopy must be both strong and aesthetically pleasing, with the ability to handle strong wind loads and other extreme weather conditions with ease.
Architectural rooflights can maximise the amount of natural light filtering down into any property. They aren’t only capable of delivering abundant daylight, they can also provide much-needed ventilation with hinged rooflights that open to provide fresh air and even roof access if necessary. Rooflights are available in a range of designs too, capable of complementing the aesthetics of any new development. Aside from static rooflights that fit flush to the ceiling, pyramid rooflights can also make the perfect architectural statement – ideal above living spaces such as dining areas, as well as boardrooms and meeting rooms in commercial environments.
At Sunsquare, we work with architects, developers and self-builders to offer bespoke rooflight configurations that are uniquely suited to any particular project – one look at our portfolio should demonstrate our capabilities. With around 165 different skylight combinations to choose from thanks to our modular designs, we can be extremely flexible, delivering thermally efficient and secure rooflights with laminated inner panes for improved security.
Glass box extensions
For designs that require the ultimate ‘wow factor’ with their glazing, a frameless glass box extension could be the ideal choice. Utilised as a genuine structure, such as an extension or conservatory, it’s not only a fantastic addition to the shape and style of any property, it creates abundant natural light and unique external views from interiors below; connecting it uniquely with its surroundings.
Glass box extensions don’t tend to require planning permission from local authorities and their ability to provide a distinct break between a building’s existing structure and a modern extension makes them an increasing hit with architects and planners alike. Take a look at our project with Spatial Design Architects who specified us to design and manufacture a unique glass box structure to connect a home’s ground floor extension with the first floor living space.
External glass doors
External glass doors can help frame a property, creating expansive external views with minimal sight lines. Aluminium sliding doors are becoming increasingly in vogue with the aluminium framework strong enough to hold floor-to-ceiling panes that result in 360-degree panoramic aspects. Aluminium external glass doors deliver excellent energy performance with thinner profiles resulting in much improved U-values, as well as a highly contemporary architectural aesthetic.
Glass curtain walling
Curtain walling can create glass living and work spaces that are wholly unique, with an uncompromised feeling of light and spaciousness. Seamless curtain walling can integrate with other windows and doors to create a complete architectural glazing system that exceeds Building Regulation guidelines for thermal efficiency, whilst producing a timeless aesthetic that adds tremendous value to any property. These facades offer virtually unlimited design freedom, which is a huge bonus to any architect.
At Sunsquare, we’ve built valued partnerships with architects and technical professionals across the UK who appreciate our approach to designing and manufacturing architectural rooflights and glass box extensions.
If you’re at the planning stage of your project, please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your architectural glazing requirements in greater detail. Call our experienced team today or drop us a line using our online contact form.