ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Style Case Studies -

Al­low­ing orig­i­nal de­sign fea­tures to shine through was key when devel­op­ing Frame House, a dark but char­ac­ter­ful mews prop­erty in Hol­land Park, London. Nic Howett of ar­chi­tec­ture firm Jonathan Tuckey De­sign out­lines the key is­sues to be aware of when adding skylights to a pe­riod prop­erty (

Why did you choose to use skylights? This home al­ready had skylights built in, but they were small and didn’t de­liver much sun­shine. Due to the listed sta­tus of Frame House, and the fact that it is lo­cated in a con­ser­va­tion area, we were un­able to in­tro­duce new skylights to the build­ing. In­stead we had to im­prove what was al­ready there, in­creas­ing the size of the ex­ist­ing lights. What type of sky­light did you opt for? We chose to go with ‘Neo’ frame­less skylights by The Rooflight Com­pany (therooflight­com­, which are de­signed to sit flush with the roof, lim­it­ing their im­pact on the look of the house. Was there any­thing you had to con­sider when in­stalling them? As Frame House is an old build­ing there were com­pli­ca­tions to con­sider: the light wells had to be care­fully po­si­tioned within the ex­ist­ing tim­ber joists, and had to align per­fectly with the joints in the tim­ber-lined ceil­ing. Apart from light, what do they add to the prop­erty? At­mos­phere! The Dou­glas Fir ply­wood cowls around the skylights di­rect light to spe­cific ar­eas in the rooms, cre­at­ing am­bi­ence and mood. The over­all ef­fect is made even more bright, airy and spa­cious thanks to the ex­posed beams and tim­ber frame­work – which re­placed the orig­i­nal walls – on the first floor (pic­tured).

Was there any­thing about the project that you didn’t ex­pect?

As more of the orig­i­nal skele­ton of the build­ing was re­vealed dur­ing con­struc­tion we in­cor­po­rated it into the fi­nal scheme, mak­ing a fea­ture of the orig­i­nal tim­bers. ➤

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