Manufacturing Facility: 'Light & Span'

The designers of this factory building sought to increase natural light in an innovative way
Story by: Trends
Light & Span – 1:1 aerial photography, daylighting, house, outdoor structure, property, real estate, residential area, roof, white
Light & Span – 1:1

About the project: 1:1 was brought in to design a new factory building that would enable a handbag manufacturer to expand capacity on his current site in Mariveles, Bataan, Philippines. The new building measures roughly 90 x 75 meters in plan, for a total footprint of approximately 6,750 square meters, adjacent to existing manufacturing facilities on the same plot.

The existing buildings are basically giant sheds with gently pitched roofs, with natural light entering only from small openings on the periphery walls. Given the design, even the presence of fluorescent lighting closer to the factory floor could not alleviate a relatively dark production space, not to mention the energy costs maintaining such artificial lighting.

Clearly, a fundamental design question was how to introduce natural light to the main production space without changing the foundational structures, given that the contractor had already started work on these, before 1:1 joined the project. Given the constraints, we basically had to solve the core lighting problem with adjustments to the roof.


Light & Span – 1:1 daylighting, factory, hangar, structure, warehouse, gray
Light & Span – 1:1

Taking the engineer's double- pitch roof design as the starting point for the project, we experimented with how to stagger the roofline's pitches in rows, thereby creating a series of diamond and triangular openings within the roof where light could enter. The effect is rows of gently pitched roofs sliding past one another in a smooth undulating roofline.

In other circumstances, such a roofing structure might have required vertical columns as supports, but in this case, we needed to minimise the number of columns on the production floor, which afforded the owner maximum flexibility in the production space. Our design solution required working with a structural engineer to design a truss to address the loading overhead without the use of columns or thick beams that would block the light. Our truss design can span more than 36 meters across the production space. The only remaining columns are a double row of columns in the middle of the rectangular space, which replicate the original design while not interfering with the ongoing footing work on site.

To reduce the overall weight and cost of the new roof design, polycarbonate panels were used for the skylights, as they diffuse ambient natural light into the production areas to create a vast, inviting light- filled space.

Light & Span – 1:1 angle, area, diagram, font, line, plot, text, white
Light & Span – 1:1

In short, this solution is engineered for structural soundness, while maintaining a largely free-form production floor while using natural light to reduce electricity spend and create a brighter, more attractive workspace for the workers.

Oct 03, 2017





Similar stories

New Zealand’s Antarctic Scott Base set for redevelopment

As Scott Base nears the end of its functional operating life, Antarctica New Zealand has brought in a team of experts to overhaul the facilities Read more

A variety of paints and finishes set off exteriors and interiors at new Palmerston North health centre

From its dramatic entry to art gallery-like atrium and dedicated interior spaces, the Aorangi Specialist Centre benefits fro... Read more

CityLife Shopping District to see 7 million visitors a year

CityLife is one of Europe’s largest redevelopment projects and will include 1,000 new homes, offices and a new 42-acre park Read more

Latest books

Home Trends 3403

The design of our homes – new or renovated – should be an individualistic response to our lifestyle, family set-up and budget. But there are also common requirements we should all aim for – a balance of public and private space... Read more

Fowler Homes

These high-quality homes proudly designed and built by Fowler Homes are just the starting point for your own inspiration. They reflect the latest and best  ideas, materials and technologies to benefit your own home Read more

Home Trends 3401

If you're designing a bathroom for a new home or renovating your existing one, you'll quickly discover how involved the process can be.It's not only the challenge of how to fit the different functional zones into the often limi... Read more