Maximising light into listed buildings and period homes

8 February 2024

Maximising light into period homes and listed buildings can be challenging with Building Regulations and planning restrictions limiting what you can do with existing walls or features. 

However, when designing for wellness and introducing natural light into your listed building or period home, using clever rooflights or structural glass box extensions can transform and enhance the sense of space and light.  

Frameless glass rooflights frame the lattice beam pattern to extended 15th Century barn

Period properties and listed heritage buildings exude charm and character, often boasting unique architectural features and historical significance. However, one common challenge faced by owners of such properties is the limited availability of natural light due to their traditional construction and layout. Maximising light in these structures without compromising their historical integrity requires a delicate balance of design ingenuity and architectural intervention. The incorporation of architectural glazing can transform period properties, flooding them with natural light while preserving their heritage value. 

Introducing light wells or courtyards within the property can channel natural light into central areas. These features can be integrated seamlessly into the design, providing a source of illumination while creating visually appealing focal points. 

Glass extensions

Adding contemporary glass extensions or conservatories to period properties can significantly increase natural light levels. These structures serve as transitional spaces between the interior and exterior, maximising daylight ingress without compromising the building's original facade. Slim framed sliding glass doors can create permeable facades facilitating outdoor living. 

Since glass box extensions drastically increase natural light and connections to nature, this lends itself to designing for wellness enhancing feelings of comfort and wellbeing.  Glass box extensions can beautifully expose traditional features which would have previously been overlooked or hidden in a dark space. 


Installing rooflights or skylights in listed buildings and period homes is an effective way to introduce light into upper floors or attic spaces improving ambiance and ventilation; key to designing for wellness.  

In more traditional listed buildings, lantern rooflights can be installed to enhance the traditional features of the original period home. 

Architectural glazing solutions 

Architectural glazing solutions combine many innovative solutions to enhance natural light to listed buildings and period properties. Structural glass, slot windows, and picture box windows have been proven to significantly improve function and  useable living space that is fit for modern day living.  Innovative architectural glazing solutions deliver on thermal performance and ultra slim frames that help occupants connect to nature and the heritage dwelling. 

Incorporating structural glass elements, such as glass floors, staircases, or balustrades, can introduce light into otherwise dark or confined spaces. These features create visual interest and enhance the perception of space while allowing natural light to filter through multiple levels of listed buildings am. 

Traditional timber windows

Classic window frame solutions for traditional period properties add a touch of elegance whilst offering high thermal performance and acoustic insulation without compromising on authenticity.

Maximising natural light in period properties and listed buildings presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities. By embracing thoughtful design principles and leveraging architectural glazing solutions, property owners can transform these historic structures into bright, inviting spaces that harmonise tradition with modernity. With careful planning and adherence to conservation guidelines, it's possible to achieve a perfect balance between preserving heritage value and enhancing the living experience for generations to come. 


Are you looking to maximise natural light to your listed building or period property?


Book a showroom visit today and explore the wide range of timber and glazing for your next project with Avino, IQ Glass and Belgravia 

Call 01494 722 880


Further reading: 

What to consider when extending a listed house 

What to consider for a modern barn conversion 

How to design a functional glass box extension 


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