The VELUX headquarters building is an imaginative response to the client’s brief, which asked the design to be ‘a practical demonstration of VELUX products in an inspirational setting’. The dynamic space is enclosed by cruck-like glulam timber beams, running like a set of vertebrae to form walls and roof.
The building is the UK sales and marketing office of The VELUX Company, the Danish manufacturer of windows and roof-lights. According to the client’s brief, the design was to be ‘a practical demonstration of VELUX products in an inspirational setting’.
The other key aspect of the brief was to demonstrate good environmental practice on a commercial basis, in terms of the building’s energy consumption, and also in its use of the roof space, illustrating the VELUX concept that making full use of roof voids can help mitigate the impact of pressure for additional housing stock.
The building is an imaginative response to the client’s brief, a dynamic space enclosed by cruck-like glulam timber beams, running like a set of vertebrae to form walls and roof. Glulam was chosen for its quality and because it could be easily formed into the rib-like structure. For the Danish client, it gives the building a Scandinavian feel and is a naturally sustainable material.
The glulam beams, set 6 metres apart along the north and south walls, rise to form a series of segmented arches which enclose the internal spaces. The 800 x 200mm beams on each side are different in character; the north-facing glulams rise 12 metres to form an elegant curve and extend over the south-facing glulams to create a deep clerestory which runs the length of the building.
The curved facade is clad with cedar shingles and encloses two floors, conference room and service rooms on the ground floor and offices on an open plan floor above. The lower, south-facing glulams, slope like a conventional pitched roof, though on a much larger scale; they are covered with natural blue-green slates and contain an array of VELUX windows, demonstrating their design