The study of movement is an influence on the spaces that we create. We are interested in architecture that is intelligent and responds to its environment. Contemporary technologies allow roofs to slide, buildings to open and react, enhancing our experiences.
The practice has been involved in a number of projects over the years where elements are required to move or deploy. These have included roofs on linear drive systems and also the use of hydraulics where the movement was required in two directions.
The project involved the idea of creating a new lightweight gazebo with a curved roof in a house in Brighton. It was proposed that a quarter of the roof should open so that the space would be ventilated and so that the client could enjoy the sea views. The system works by employing a series of counterweights similar in principle to a horizontal sash window.
The roof illustrated consists of a 2.3 metre by 2.2 metre double glazed roof light which can move horizontally. The system is driven by a motor with a rack and pinion type mechanism.
Sensors are used to close the rooflight automatically if inclement weather is detected.
The project involved the construction of a glass roof over an existing central courtyard. The roof consists of double glazed panels on steel hollow section beams. An element of the roof opens and is driven by a hydraulic pump which is hidden in the steel beams. Thus the courtyard can be sheltered in rain and open in the summer allowing the house to vent.