LEVOLUX SATISFIES SPECIAL NEEDS November 2007
A £3.2million new build extension to the New Woodlands School in Lewisham sought to maximise daylight in teaching and communal spaces. To achieve this, Levolux provided an external solar shading solution – both to optimise glazing options and prevent the building from overheating during school hours.
Catering for pupils with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties aged between 11 and 14, it was important that the new teaching block was light and airy. This would inspire learning, deliver comfortable conditions, and enhance concentration levels.
Attached to the roof overhang and wall of the two-storey, south west elevation of the building, the 5 metre high screens – fabricated from a combination of steel, aluminium extrusions with perforated aluminium sheets – are 1232mm wide at the top and taper down to 570mm at the bottom.
Further enhancing the appearance of the building and limiting direct light levels inside, Levolux’s horizontal solar shading Fins are wrapped around the double height hall space that is orientated to the south. The Louvres integrate easily with the overall design concept while delivering a wholly effective shading system to keep internal temperatures as cool as possible without the need for costly air conditioning.
Designed by Guy Shackle at Barron and Smith Architects the scheme comprises purple brick and ‘pyjama’ stripes of render. It deliberately contrasts with the yellow stocks of the opposite primary school building with its steeply pitched roof and crowning pyramid roof-lights.
The main façade comprises horizontal Levolux Fins to the south facing windows of the hall. Inspired by the Japanese Kendo Mask that depersonalises the fighter behind, the design concept is synonymous to pupils with behavioural difficulties – who screen the vulnerable person within.
Overall, the entire aesthetic of the building was deliberately designed to create a different and attractive image to welcome and help pupils with special educational needs (SEN). This helps to prevent them feeling alienated from mainstream institutions, and provides comfortable environmental conditions for all occupants.
Like all systems from Levolux, the solar shading solution is backed with the company’s design, manufacture and installation package.