30 March 2017

Natural light takes center stage

Morten Lovén of Vision Arkitekter used the ceiling to draw natural light into an office renovation, creating a spacious and airy interior.

Danish surveying company, LE34, was founded in 1900 and has played an important role in the country’s development throughout the years. In January 2016, it moved into new offices in the Katrinebjerg district of Aarhus, Denmark. Often referred to as “IT City,” most of the properties in this area are owned and developed by FEAS, a real estate company and subsidiary of the Aarhus University Research Foundation.

Local architecture firm, Vision Arkitekter, was responsible for the design, construction management and supervision of the office renovation. “It's always interesting when working with such an old building, and you have to try and create the best possible interior design which fits within the existing parameters,” explains Morten Lovén, architect and construction manager at Vision Arkitekter.

Calling in the light

Designing the new LE34 offices were a challenge for the architect because he had to turn a building constructed in the mid-1980s into a brightly lit, modern interior. The main source of natural light was a tall glass façade at the front of the building and average-size windows running along the outer walls, which could not be enlarged. “We had to work within a given framework with a given façade, making it important that light be projected as far into the building as possible,” says Lovén.

Recognizing the challenges of the office space, the architect needed to find a solution that would counter the low-light distribution. Using the ceiling, with its superior light reflection properties, helped circulate the light entering through the façade and windows.

Designing a healthy indoor climate

Adapting to the existing floor plan, it was decided to place shared facilities in the center of the space with open plan offices running around the outer edge of the building, benefiting from the natural light. Lovén elaborates, “We had to find the best possible solution and integrate certain installations in and around the interior.”

An innovative solution for the challenges of the renovation, using the ceiling properties’ to draw the light into the office realized the architect’s vision for a spacious and airy interior.

LE34, Forskningsfondens Ejendomsselskab A/S (FEAS),

Aarhus University Research Foundation,

Vision Arkitekter, (in Danish)

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