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Glass & Glazing

Using box rooflights for communal outdoor space


Vintry Court is a building development providing four stories of residential homes. The development utilises a box roof light for access to a communal roof top terrace in order to make the most of limited space, as well as to enhance the sense of community in the Bermondsey’s London Bridge Quarter building.

Limited space and residential properties

RIBA, in their summary The Case for Space, state that:

‘the space in homes can affect the educational outcomes of children, public health costs, individual wellbeing and interpersonal interactions and relationships’.

Therefore, it has become all the more important to implement space into the planning, design and management of any given project. The Government is now introducing minimum space standards to ensure that London properties, such as Vintry Court, provide sufficient space for the contemporary household.

Using rooflights for access and outdoor space

A popular solution to making the most of space and light is to transform flat roofspace into an external amenity area.vintry-court-box-rooflight-stairwell

For Vintry Court, Alan Camp architects implemented the use of a box rooflight in order to transform the flat roof into a communal terrace for all residents. Box rooflights have grown in popularity across architect practices and so Gurj Bahra, the Project Architect, specified this solution in order to meet the project challenges.

Glazing Vision were delighted to supply their standard three wall mounted box rooflight for this project, measuring over 4 metres wide and almost 2.5 metres in span. Supplied in two sections, the box rooflight creates an approximate 50% clear opening, with one pane of glass sliding over one fixed. This feature enabled the architect to make the most of precious outdoor space.

Another advantage of installing this type of rooflight for access is its height when compared to sliding or hinged varieties. The rooflight forms a physical structure, meaning that there is no further requirement for balustrades to be installed, which reduces clutter on the roof as well as costs.

Box rooflights and Aesthetics

What is particularly impressive about this product is the relationship between the different materials used to manufacture the rooflight.

Glass areas are maximised with comparatively little visible supporting framework, resulting in a clean, contemporary external aesthetic. Internally, the high distribution of glass ensures that large volumes of natural daylight are able to pervade the stairwell, uninterrupted by dense framework. A white powder coated frame also matches the interior décor of the building.

Safety concerns for the new fixture

During the initial stages of the project the on-site contractor, Rydon Construction Ltd, showed concern for the safety of children accessing the rooflight.
This was due to the risk of them getting injured or trapped when the product closed.

In order to combat this, Glazing Vision installed dual proximity sensors to cover both horizontal and vertical edges. This means that if the beam is broken, the rooflight automatically stops. Glazing Vision also provided their standard current override safety system, which senses additional draw on the motors and will stop the rooflight closing if an obstruction is detected. This ensures further peace of mind and security.

The functionality of the rooflight itself also offers other safety features. One pane of glass slides over the top of a fixed section, meaning that the fixed section provides a permanent barrier to cover any voids over the stairwell.


This innovative solution meant that the requirement for additional, usable space was achieved. Installing Glazing Vision’s box rooflight not only provided access to a communal roof terrace with spectacular outdoor views of the London skyline, but most importantly, created a sense of inclusivity for all of the residents at Vintry Court.

To find out more about box rooflight specification, book a CPD at glazingvision.co.uk.