University of Sussex

The Project

Lumen rooflight has installed a stunning bespoke conical rooflight
as part of extensive restoration works at the Attenborough Centre
for Creative Arts (ACCA) at the University of Sussex.

Originally built in 1969, and previously known as the Gardner Arts
Centre, the ACCA building was designed by architect Sir Basil
Spence and listed Grade II* by English Heritage. The building had
fallen into a state of disrepair, and the original conical rooflight in
the building was in desperate need of replacement.

Due to its Grade II listing, the replacement rooflight needed to
be an exact replica of the original and not visible externally from
ground level.The design was further challenged by the need to include
improved glazing. This would require the installation of larger,
much heavier glass panels, but without increasing the height of
the rooflight beyond the restrictions imposed by English Heritage.

Ensuring the load calculations were correct was imperative to
ensure that the rooflight would not fall in on itself.
Lumen worked closely with the architect and English Heritage to
ensure the design and specification was suitable for the project.

The main structure of the conical rooflight was of mild steel
construction, with insulated up stand infill sections manufactured
from aluminum alloy. The units are protected with a PZ770
polyester powder coat to provide a long low-maintenance life.

The glazing for the rooflight was designed to the highest quality
standards using top specification glazing. Each of the
glazing units incorporate Pilkington Activ SunShade™ Neutral self-cleaning glass as the outer pane, with argon gas filled cavities and Pilkington Optitherm™ S3 glass as the inner pane of low-emissivity glass.

Architect, David Sweeney, from RH Partnership said: “The
replacement of the conical rooflight was an extremely specialist
job, which required the expert skills of a company like Lumen
Rooflight, and they did offer a unique service for this particular

“The construction and installation presented a highly technical
challenge, which Lumen completed successfully and on budget.
We are very pleased with the service they provided and the final

Product specification:
• Steel frame construction with paint system for coastal
location (shot blast, epoxy zinc rich primer, epoxy
intermediate coat, high build polyurethane top coat)
• Stainless steel purpose designed cap
• 6 mm toughened Pilkington Activ SunShade™ Neutral self-cleaning glass
•20 mm argon gas cavity (silicone sealed)
• 6 mm toughened Pilkington Optitherm™ S3
• Powder coated aluminium was used for the capping,
insulated panels and external drip flashing.

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Project Details
Building Type
  • Education
About the Architect/Installer
RH Partnership
Lumen Rooflight
Benefit Led Categories
  • Self Cleaning
  • Thermal Insulation