A glass atrium was traditionally an open aired section in the middle of a building, the concept has evolved to acclimatise to the UK’s demand and weather conditions, becoming a covered area with a glass roof or rooflight. These areas are usually two-storeys or higher, bringing true luxury across multiple floors, whilst a single-storey atria would be considered a glass courtyard.
Incorporating an Atrium
IQ can offer frameless rooflight solutions for glass atriums to ensure the natural light of the original structures are not compromised. Using various elements of structural glazing and steel fixings, IQ create bespoke atriums, bringing you all the benefits of natural light whilst offering shelter if required.
The first thing to consider when specifying a glass atrium is how the atrium will feature in the design. An atrium will increase the amount of usable space in a property, offering a new area for homeowners to furnish or decorate. The design of a glass atrium will depend on whether the space is a key design feature in the property, a deliberately secluded area (like the open air dining space in the Field House project) or a method of introducing natural light into the property.
IQ use multiple structural glazing products and technical solutions to create bespoke atriums. There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to these projects, this ensures IQ tailor the design and function to a project’s specific requirements.
Residential projects can benefit from a glass atrium to create a focal point for a small indoor garden, pond area or to showcase a sculpture.
When installed in the middle of a building, the atrium becomes a design feature, benefiting the property in multiple ways. Natural light is proven to be good for your health and with a central glass atrium this would introduce paths of free-flowing light into a home, with large areas benefiting from an influx in daylight.
Natural light increases productivity, if you’re incorporating a home office into a residential design an atria could be utilised by situating the office next to a glass atrium, like our Treeside project where the office space was inundated with natural light.
For a completely open aperture, sliding or bifolding doors can be installed within the atrium, linking the indoor and outdoor areas whilst offering ventilation. Minimal windows sliding doors offer the slimmest sightlines and can be almost invisible within an atrium design.
IQ can design the atrium to be completely frameless, double glazed for high thermal performance, with an open sky if desired. Opt for a rooflight if the desired finish is a covered area, this will offer the same light benefits as an open aired finish whilst increasing year-round functionality. Utilising a rooflight will offer ventilation to the area and our frameless rooflights can be automated for ease. Our modern automated rooflight system, the MARS, is specifically designed to offer functionality and high quality minimalistic design.
Another option for specifying a glass atrium is the use of heated glass. IQ’s heated glass can be specified to generate a source of heat, radiating from the centre of a building.
Fire rated glass can also be specified if this is one of the project requirements. Neither fire rated nor heated glass impact the frameless design finish. Glass coatings should be considered during the specification process, such as solar control coatings if the area is going to be directly exposed to sunlight.
Minimalistic design is a popular choice for glass atriums, with years of expertise IQ are able to detail the design to create a seamless finish, with the glass traveling over floor slabs. Using hidden steel fixings and clever arrangements this method creates a frameless, multi-level atrium.
If a frameless finish is not desired, there are a number of design options offering different aesthetics. The Sieger Legacy systems have an industrial, steel look with an art deco theme for an industrial design. These steel look systems boast all the benefits of steel with the advantages of aluminium’s thermal performances and low maintenance. If you specifically want to specify steel, opt for our Mondrian systems for thermally efficient, sleek steel systems.