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Preservation of Architectural Value Through Modernization with Modular Skylights

The community centre, built in 1968, was to be sold in 2019 due to the need for renovation and rising maintenance costs. At the time, the building was not yet listed and potential buyers were considering demolishing it in favour of new multi-storey buildings. At the same time, Daniel Dahinten, partner at TRAGRAUM Ingenieure, was looking for office space for up to 15 employees due to a necessary expansion. It was important to him that the building had historical significance to the city. The municipality was also in favour of a renovation, this laid the foundation for the conversion. 

Everyone involved attached great importance to the architectural characteristics of the building as well as the well-preserved structure, furniture and surfaces. To achieve this, the centre was placed under a preservation order. To ensure the most sustainable yet needs-based conversion possible, it was decided to keep the building fabric and interior fittings, such as the sacred space and the striking green tones of the wooden fixtures, to a large extent and to reduce the measures to the bare minimum. Among other things, the parquet flooring was refurbished and sealed, the wall paintwork was restored in line with listed building requirements, floor tiles were preserved, the fountain was revitalized, window frames were refurbished and the sand-lime brick walls were cleaned. The necessary measures included replacing the window panes, a new heating system, interior insulation and two photovoltaic systems on the roof. Thanks to these steps, the building meets today's energy efficiency requirements.

The most significant intervention in the building fabric was the installation of new skylights. During the renovation, the reinforced concrete structure of the roof was retained and only the listed suspended ceiling was removed and stored, and the maritime pine panels of the roof boarding were cut open. VELUX Modular Skylights Longlights were installed that now channel natural light into the office areas, which not only improves the atmosphere, but also has a positive effect on the well-being and productivity of employees. 

The glazing used contributes to the energy balance with a Ug value of 0.7 W/m2K. Grey interior roller blinds protect against excessive glare, which is particularly important for fixed workstations and screens. The openable modules ensure regular air exchange and provide fresh air at the workplace. 

TRAGRAUM Ingenieure attached great importance to being able to convert the office lofts back quickly and easily in the event of a change of use, which is why the openness of the space was retained. Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass walls maintain this impression and can be used to separate two meeting rooms if required. The small hall on the first floor is now used as a kitchen and bar to allow employees to take pleasant breaks. 

This successful refurbishment has extended the life cycle of the building while retaining its original character. 




Products used in project

2x Lonlight 10°

Longlight 5°–30°

A mono-pitched solution ideal for flat roofs

Illustration of VELUX Modular Skylights Longlight Read more

17 modules:

  • 13x fixed modules 750 x 1200 mm
  • 4x openable modules 750 x 1200 mm

Glazing: triple glazing, solar control glass, Ug = 0.7 W/m2K, Uw = 1.0 W/m2K

Special Solution: Roller blinds in grey, io-homecontrol®


Longlight 5°–30°

A mono-pitched solution ideal for flat roofs

Illustration of VELUX Modular Skylights Longlight Read more

Daniel Dahinten

Partner at TRAGRAUM Ingenieure

We have changed very little, and above all brought in natural light. Everything that was there before is still there and the architectural character has been reinforced. We extensively cleaned and repaired the existing building in order to preserve it and put it to its new use.

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