About the project
The University of Winchester appointed Studio Four Architects to carry out a feasibility study for enclosing an existing courtyard to create a new Senior Common Room.
The space needed to be flexible, for possible alternative uses, and spectacular, to create a prominent feature at the centre of the original 19C buildings.
Various design proposals were presented to the University and a 2-storey lightweight structure, supporting a flat roof with unusual “prism” rooflights for daylight and ventilation, was selected.
The Atrium has full-height glazing looking out into a re-landscaped courtyard. The unique light “spikes” in the roof reach up to catch low sunlight and transfer it to tapered prisms in the ceiling. At night, the process is reversed and LED lights illuminate the prisms and spikes with colour-changing light from within. In addition, the gap between spike and prism allows stale air in the room to be vented automatically.