Brentwood School, Essex

Client: Brentwood School
Type of works: supplied neo rooflights, plateau rooflights and bespoke plateau rooflights.

When Cottrell & Vermeulen Architecture was commissioned to design a new sixth-form centre and assembly hall at Brentwood School, the challenge was to achieve a cohesive design on a site dominated by substantial brick buildings dating back to the 19th and 16th centuries.

The overall intention was to be in sympathy with the existing buildings in terms of the quality, texture and general colouring of the external elevations, but to distinguish the new part as modern by the relatively simple treatment of edges, openings, windows and rooflights. Project Architect Jonathan Dawes specified Keymer hand-made clay roof tiles to tone in with the brick elevations, and minimalist, low-profile rooflights from the Rooflight Company to carry the simplicity of the vertical windows onto the roof.

When selecting the provider of the rooflights for this sensitive project, Jonathan Dawes commented: “Wespecified the Rooflight Company due to their ability to meet a wide brief across a variety of roof applications. Their level of expertise and their bespoke design capability sets them apart from other rooflight manufacturers.”

For the linking structure between the 19th Century ‘Otway House’ and the new sixth-form classroom, a simple and sympathetic approach was taken. In order to complement the restrained glazed elevation, a low-profile neo studio Designer Rooflight measuring 1.5m x 2.4m was specified.

Natural light and ventilation are provided by a total of eight low-profile Plateau rooflights with electric actuation. The lower level sedum roof features two Bespoke PlateauRooflights (1.5m x 0.9m).

The dark grey of the six Bespoke Plateau Rooflights (2.0 x 1.5m) blend well with the bauder covering of the upper level.

Fourteen neo rooflights in two sizes complement the clean unelaborated, mostly recessed window openings, while providing high levels of light and ventilation for the classroom accommodation on the second floor. In order to control solar gain and reduce noise pollution, a combination of Pilkington Suncool™ and Optiphon glazing was specified. The bespoke trapezoidal rooflight in the same style as neo, but with glazing bar illuminates the classroom space below.

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