Boston's CambridgeSeven Architects Anchors a Monumental University Buildings with a Massive Sawtooth Skylight


Skylights are one of the best tools an architect can use to bring daylight deep into spaces. However, if the natural daylight is not controlled, glare and overheating can make the space uninhabitable. The use of engineered light diffusers can solve these problems, creating beautiful, comfortable naturally daylit spaces that people want to be in.

Kuwait University Interior

One of our largest skylight installations to date is Kuwait University’s College of Business Administration – a 40,000 sq. ft. skylight designed for extreme desert climates. To get a sense of the sheer size of the skylight, imagine New York’s Empire State Building laying on its side. Designed by CambridgeSeven, the design called for color-correct natural light to diffuse deep into the space, imparting the feeling of an expansive outdoor garden. “The CBA atrium features an enormous sawtooth skylight inspired by Greek agora — an ancient public space — but designed for air control in hot climates like Kuwait,” - Marc Rogers, CambridgeSeven Principal The skylit central atrium is the heart of the building where informal interactions between faculty and students and community fosters the exchange of ideas.

CambridgeSeven chose Solera® glass units at R18 / 0.31 W/m²·K** for the entire atrium skylight at design conception to ensure the daylighting component of this design supported the project’s sustainability goal. To achieve this, a daylight model comparison was created by the Advanced Glazings, Ltd research and development team to show how Solera®-engineered daylight diffusers would look in the space. It demonstrated that using Solera as a separate component on the south allowed the building owner to satisfy sustainability goals, as well as create a visually and thermally comfortable space for students. The resulting sawtooth skylight, with a north to south orientation, was overglazed for daylighting and cooling balance using 1,126 Solera® R18 units, creating an aesthetic of crisp lines and variegated façade.

The result is an amazing occupant experience with beautiful, diffused natural daylight for the more than 4,000 students and 820 faculty members on site. The Kuwait College of Business Administration Women and Men campuses comprise a total area of 850,000 sq. ft. and obtained a LEED Silver certification.

Meeting thermal requirements doesn't have to mean using less glass.

Curious to learn more about how Solera skylights can help you add natural daylight and help you create a space that people want to be in? We’re here to help with from the very start. Contact a member of our team today for a complimentary daylight model to get your project started: Contact us!

Kuwait University Water Fountain