Location of Basement Lightwell
In designing a basement extension, the size number and location of the basement lightwell has a great impact on the success of the project. Typically, a rear lightwell at the garden side will be incorporated and this provides for daylight and access from the basement room giving onto it, often the basement family room. This lightwell can also offer access via steps up to the garden and will also have a glass bridge over part of it to allow access from the ground floor into the garden.
There will also be a front lightwell to the basement extension. This is smaller than the rear lightwell and again serves to bring daylight and natural ventilation in to the space behind. The top of the lightwell will be covered with a steel grill with an openable section that allows ladder egress.
Multiple Lightwells in Basement Projects
In a number of our basement projects, and most notable Fulham basements, we have incorporated a third lightwell. This is sited in the middle of the basement floorplan and variously is surrounded by glass walls and doors and has a glass bridge extending over it. The advantage of this third lightwell is in bringing daylight and natural ventilation into the heart of the basement. Several of the projects have rooflight s over the ground floor bridge that spans this lightwell and so form the heart of the basement views of the sky can be had. A third lightwell does offer many advantages.
A number of our basement projects include variations of the approach to lightwells noted above. Several have opted not to have a rear open lightwell but rather have a large structural glass platform and then include the lightwell floorspace as internal pace and this can also be successful. Others have integrated the internal ground floor to basement level stair in its own glass cube and linked this to the side of the rear lightwell.
3D Computer Graphics
Key to the successful incorporation of lightwell is the breadth of experience highlighted above and also the use of 3D computer graphics to explore the aesthetics and impact of daylight and views out.