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Preserving heritage with Velux windows

Velux windows
Velux windows fitted at the semi-detached villa

New heritage roof windows provide key to modern living in a period property.

Clients of chartered architect Spence & Dower were looking to create a forever home for their family in a large conservation area in Tynemouth, Tyne and Wear.

Their semi-detached villa was built between 1900 and 1929 and it was essential for them to preserve and enhance the home’s character and appearance.

However, while they had six big double bedrooms, there weren’t enough bathrooms and the living space felt cramped. The loft area consisted of one small rooflight in the landing and an internal window in the bathroom towards the landing.

Design iterations

The design process focused on addressing the client’s needs while respecting the property’s heritage.

Several key iterations were proposed by the architect for the loft area:

  • using Velux roof windows to bring in additional light and to make the space feel more open and brighter;
  • adding a further rooflight in the loft space above the shower room to give the loft platform two windows for stargazing in different directions; and
  • introducing three linked rooflights between the exposed purlins as a solution to the dark top landing of the stairwell.
New heritage roof windows provide key to modern living in a period property.
The Velux Heritage conservation roof window provided a solution to the loft conversion

Loft bathroom space transformation

The top floor bathroom had no external windows, but it did have an internal one facing the indoor landing area. Therefore it was necessary to open the bathroom loft area to install a ventilation system.

The clients were keen to follow the architect’s proposal. However, during construction, the Velux Heritage conservation roof window was launched. This sleek and subtle low-profile design played a significant role in their decision because it guaranteed to harmonise with the house’s style.

Stairwell illumination

After one Velux Heritage conservation roof window had been installed in the bathroom, the effect of daylight was immediately evident – it transformed the space. The client wanted the same effect at the top of the central staircase.

Two Velux Heritage conservation roof windows were installed between exposed purlins to brighten the dark top landing and extend into the adjacent shower room.
This allowed daylight to flow through the house’s central staircase, as well as maintaining the natural ventilation flow.


With the installation of two Velux Heritage conservation roof windows in the landing, the period property embraced the influx of daylight and the fresh ventilation flow through the central staircase of the house. Installing a large Velux Heritage conservation roof window – featuring a hand winder – in the bathroom made it possible to air the space and ventilate it thoroughly.

The alterations promised to create a versatile and inviting space for the family to enjoy for generations to come, while preserving the heritage of the building.

This article has been produced by Construction Management in association with Velux.

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