The 5,000 m2 School of Engineering and Design was completed in 2007 for Brunel University at its Uxbridge campus. It contains design studios, administrative and academic offices, centred around a multistorey atrium, and is located on the university's pedestrian street.
But the university's Chancellery is an important, distinct element of the design, which takes the form of a double-storey cylinder connected to the atrium via a “break-out” space.
A 2m wide rooflight circles the outer rim of the drum shape and introduces a diffused background light appropriate to the multi-use nature of the building—ranging from council chamber to dance. Originally intended as a purely internal space with only artificial lighting, the architects decided to add rooflights to improve lighting quality and reduce energy consumption.
Project Director Nigel Wooding commented:
"The Nanogel®-filled rooflight manufactured and installed by Xtralite softens the daylight brought into the building and accentuates its strong architectural form. At the same time, it substantially reduces the need for artificial lighting during much of the building’s operational times while providing good thermal insulation to give the sustainable solution that we sought.”