PLP Architecture Maximizes Natural Light for the London HQ of Sky Central
A primary intention for the design of a building to house the London headquarters of telecommunications company Sky Central was maximizing natural light throughout its 11,490 square feet.
The solution was to install a vast H-shaped atrium to drive daylight down from the roof into the three-story space. “This allows daylight to reach office spaces that are a considerable distance from the facade,” says Wayne McKiernan, director for PLP Architecture, the firm behind the design. “That’s a problem in any large-plan building.”
PLP actually used 400 skylights made of low-iron, triple-glazed glass from Interpane. The combination was framed and installed by Prater. For a balance of light and shade, the team gave the rooftop glazing a north angle pitch, McKiernan says, explaining, “Combined with deep beams, that enables a high degree of passive shading from the roof, as the majority of the roof skylights don’t have blinds.”
Another effective device adding natural light is the floor-to-ceiling glass composing the walls of the ground-floor café. Here, the architects specified 59-foot, slidingglass doors from Vitrosca because their minimal frames offer maximum sightlines.
A clear benefit of all this glazing is that users almost anywhere in the space can greatly reduce their reliance on artificial light. Then there are the perceived health perks. “Increased daylighting can reduce fatigue and increase happiness and alertness,” McKiernan says. It also allows for 27,000 indoor plants to thrive in the hub, which doesn’t hurt either.