Bespoke Ridgeglaze rooflight houses astronomical observatory at Starrenburg

Bespoke Ridgeglaze rooflight houses astronomical observatory at Starrenburg
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This idyllic plot, situated just north of the Nevis Range, allowed the client to create their perfect home with the help of their builders.

Key to blending their dream of an eco-friendly home, which encompassed their love of astronomy was Glazing Visions bespoke Ridgeglaze rooflight. This custom-built opening skylight – a prime example of Glazing Vision’s design and manufacturing expertise – combines their Ridgeglaze and Sliding Over Roof rooflights to create a stunning home observatory within the homeowner’s immaculate modern house.

Once synonymous with tradition and practicality, the concept of the house has duly evolved to cater more to the personal needs of its inhabitants, while still maintaining the structural advantages of its origins.

In 2010, after having spent most of their lives working overseas, the homeowners started plotting their ideal location to settle down and build their dream home. With a long-held passion for astronomy, a dark sky site, free of light pollution, was a necessity. It wasn’t until 2013 when the clients found a site on a low range of hills just north of the Nevis Range giving not only views from the Grey Corries to Ben Nevis but also the Loch Lochy Mountains.

The owners of this impressive dwelling needed an architectural design outcome that respected the highland landscape while giving an unhindered view of the night sky. Following discussions with their builder A.N. Fraser of South Laggan, a bespoke version of Glazing Vision’s Ridgeglaze Rooflight was the ideal solution for this.

The standard Ridgeglaze rooflight is a fixed product – with no moving parts. Its key advantage is that it allows light into the dwelling on both returns by being placed over the apex of a pitched roof. Glazing Vision’s experienced team of CAD designers and engineers take this concept further still by motorising it, allowing it to glide over the roof, opening up the apex to give a full panoramic view of the majestic Highland landscape. The end result is a hybridised version of the Glazing Vision’s Ridgeglaze and Sliding Over Roof rooflights.

This is a distinct piece, suited to distinct needs: firstly, the precise guidelines set by Highland Planning authorities required that the property have a pitched roof. Secondly, the requirement for an eco-friendly and energy efficient home and finally, but maybe most importantly, a home for their much-beloved telescope. It’s here that the lines between luxury and necessity are blurred.

Having considered the option of a separate building for the observatory, the homeowners finally decided on a sliding Ridgeglaze which adds functionality while maintaining their home’s silhouette. The resulting space would be outside the house’s insulation so as not to affect sensitive high-tech equipment, with gable-busting windows maximising solar gain in the rooms below. A suntrap was created in the observatory by specifying a 28.8 mm double-glazed unit, comprising of 6mm clear heat soak tested toughened outer pane with a 14mm argon filled warm edge spacer cavity and an 8.8mm laminate low emissivity inner pane.

This awesome property stands so proud as to be mountainous in its own right. Its respect for its surroundings, however, transcends the aesthetic. This residence was designed to be ecologically friendly from the outset, achieving an SAP rating of A+ upon its completion. Every aspect of this structure is a reflection of its owners’ character – from its eco-friendly credentials – to its extraordinary views – to the fact that they specified the design themselves, rather than employing architectural designers, showing that they aren’t afraid of a challenge.

Glazing Vision are honoured to have been part of this traditional-yet-modern marvel. And we are immensely proud that this bespoke Ridgeglaze rooflight does “everything the client hoped it would”.



Ridgeglaze Fixed Rooflight, Sliding Over Roof Rooflight


Private Client


Residential, Pitched Roofs, Daylight

600450 Bespoke Ridgeglaze rooflight houses astronomical observatory at Starrenburg

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