March 2012

Students at the University of Reading’s Department of Film, Theatre and Television (FT&T) are benefitting from the new £11 million ‘Minghella’ building, which features an impressive Timber Fin Solar Shading solution from Levolux.

University of Reading1 200 x 200The two/three storey building, named in honour of award-winning playwright, screenwriter and director Anthony Minghella CBE, who sadly passed away in 2008, comprises a number of highly specialised, state-of-the-art teaching and performing spaces, arranged around a bright central atrium. Facilities include two large theatre spaces, a 70 seat cinema, TV studio and a post-production area.

The ‘L’-shaped building, designed by Stride Treglown architects, sensitively balances the need for naturally lit communal and circulation areas, to encourage social interaction, with the need for critical acoustic separations between the various teaching and performance spaces.

University of Reading2 200 x 200To help achieve this, the entrance area and internal walkways and stairways leading from the central atrium are all fed with natural daylight, from double-height slit windows on exposed south and east-facing elevations.

While natural daylight is desirable, it can lead to excessive solar heat gain unless it is countered by an effective form of Solar Shading. As the UK’s leading Solar Shading specialist, Levolux was invited to develop a solution for the Minghella building, comprising its Timber Fins, fixed externally to create an attractive, yet highly functional design feature.

University of Reading3 200 x 200The Solar Shading solution from Levolux comprises Timber Fins, arranged into vertical and horizontal panels, fixed at first and second floor levels, respectively. Each Timber Fin has a rectangular profile and measures 200mm wide and 50mm thick. In total, Levolux engineered and installed 24 panels of Timber Fins, formed from Lunawood treated timber.

Naturally resistant to mould and decay, Lunawood maintains its size and shape even after prolonged exposure to extreme environmental conditions, and over time acquires an attractive silver grey patina. All timber used by Levolux is derived from sustainable sources, with a certified FSC chain of custody.

University of Reading4 200 x 200The University’s Department for Film, Theatre and Television has been established as a leader in its field for more than 40 years. Thanks to the new Minghella building, with its attractive Timber Fins from Levolux, the University’s leadership position will be further strengthened.