New life to Victorian gatehouse

Students at Royal Holloway University of London can now benefit from an architect-designed private accommodation and social hub located in Egham, Surrey.

The privately owned facility, called Hox Haus, is in an extended and re-modelled Grade II-listed Victorian gymnasium located a short bus-ride away from Royal Holloway, University of London.

The project blends original Victorian brickwork with two new glazed light box additions which will provide students with light-filled spaces in which to work, socialise and relax.

Michael Metcalfe, national sales manager UK processing, at Pilkington UK, said: “There is a good body of research evidence building that suggests there is a strong relationship between natural light in working and studying spaces and the wellbeing of those using the space. It has been shown to promote better sleep, increased physical activity and increased productivity, all conducive to more effective study.”

In order to maximise the benefits that the glazing delivers to students using the facility, a structurally glazed curtain-wall system from Raico was selected for the project.

The glass used throughout features the high-performance Pilkington Suncool 66/33 solar-control coating. This means that just 33% of the sun’s energy can pass through, significantly reducing the heating effect on the interior, while 66% of light is allowed in, maintaining excellent brightness and views.

Further solar control is provided by the shading created by anodised metal fins that project from the glazed wall in key areas, a feature that also adds a distinctive contemporary aesthetic to the design.

Michael Metcalfe said: “In any building that has large areas of glass, there will always be a risk of excessive heat build-up, which can result in either an uncomfortable environment for occupants or high running costs and poor environmental performance if high levels of air-conditioning are used. Our solar-control coatings are engineered to minimise this effect, making it easier to maintain an ideal temperature all year round without compromising on the advantages large areas of glazing bring to a building.”