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A historic factory transformed into an open office

Sweco is a global architecture, engineering, environment & regulatory consultancy firm with an office in Aarhus, Denmark now home to 180 employees. Employees were involved in design plans to transform a factory first built in 1899 into an office as part of a building refurbishment. This project included a replacement of rooflights to optimise daylight and provide fresh air.

A building designed by architects for architects

The historic building includes a sawtooth roof originally built with rooflights in 1959, during an industrial period when the building operated as a paper factory. Deterioration over the decades meant rooflights were no longer thermally efficient. They were also unable to provide indoor spaces with optimal levels of daylight due to discoloured glazing. Sweco’s architects and designers began to make plans that would ensure daylight was central to a refurbishment project that looked to transform a production factory into a modern office.

Daylight under one roof for all employees

A total of 432 Northlight modules were installed in 9 rows and include triple glazing to enhance thermal comfort. To ensure the Modular Skylight system would fit the existing roof structure, two specially sized units had to be designed for each of the rows. Sixty-three of the modules are venting to provide access to fresh air and lower carbon dioxide levels. Smoke heat and exhaust ventilation is available in the event of a fire and offers additional safety.

VELUX Modular Skylights were chosen for their cost efficiency and quality. A uniform design and hidden actuators make it unnoticeable if modules are fixed or venting.

Sustainable design as part of a refurbishment

As part of sustainability goals, a supporting roof and building structure was retained. This included preservation of original brick and concrete. The reuse of patinated brick means longevity of building materials.

A reduction in carbon footprint has also been achieved with less need for additional materials. The replacement of rooflights also reduces the need for artificial lighting through the provision of optimal daylight. The team at Sweco have successfully retained and utilised existing resources to give an old building a new lease of life. 




Products used in project

9 x Northlight

Northlight 25-90°

A rooflight series for sloped, shed or saw tooth roofs.

Illustration of Northlight solution Read more

Quantity of modules: 432
63 SHEV and comfort ventilation

Building size: 3,100 m2 office

Northlight 25-90°

A rooflight series for sloped, shed or saw tooth roofs.

Illustration of Northlight solution Read more

Anders Lyhne

Creative Director, Sweco

With this refurbishment project, it was important to design in a way that allows optimal daylight to enter the entirety of the space.

Anders Lyhne

Creative Director, Sweco

We wanted all our people in Aarhus to work together under one roof, in one open space. Understanding how daylight enters a space has allowed us to create an office environment where every employee feels connected by daylight. This was a primary goal and focus during the refurbishment. Today daylight is a daily pleasure for every employee.

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