Bringing Light Into Architecture

Bringing Light Into Architecture

The Mirror Sculpture in our office was first created and inspired by the concept of bringing light down into our meeting room in the basement which looked out onto a brick wall.

We took the property in 2014 from a barber shop and fully renovated it. The barber shop left behind 60 mirror tiles and we couldn’t let them go to waste, so gratefully took them with the intent to recycle and reuse them in an interesting fluid structure.

Sebastian, XUL Architecture’s Director, began to create small models by arranging the mirrors into different angles to try and see what worked and what didn’t. Gradually, a shape and model began to emerge resulting in a waterfall effect.  

We are very pleased with how the structure turned out and exactly how it brings light into the basement room. Now, instead of looking out of the window and seeing a brick wall, we can see different fragments of the sky and clouds and get a sense of being outside. The lack of light was our main brief and we believe that we created a sculpture that is both creative structurally and practical by bringing light to the interior.

The sculpture was also designed to be seen from the street and you can see the reflection of the sky when you walk on the pavement.

The Mirror Sculpture provides a great sense of fun and is an exciting conversation topic when people first enter the room and view the sculpture.

If you wish to learn more about how we came up with the idea, watch how Sebastian Sandler, our Managing Director explains the process and the innovative thinking involved in bringing natural light into our offices with the Mirror Sculpture.



Great News To Share!


We Won The Barnet Architecture Award 2017!

As you were aware in our last Facebook post, we were shortlisted finalists for the prestigious Barnet Architecture Awards 2017 for our project Hale Lane…

Well, we are delighted to announce that we have won! All of us here at XUL had a lot of fun designing and completing this project, had a wonderful time at the ceremony and we are so thrilled to have won the award.

(Sebastian collecting the award)

(Team – Seba and Yaiza with our happy clients – Jo and Amir)

Hale Lane features a rear extension with a glass link that separates it from the existing house and two bespoke cone-shaped skylights cladded in stainless steel to bring in additional natural light.

The judges stated the “attention to detail in the connection and thesis between the extension of the house and the use of glass is found successful in performing both as a connection to the bulk of the house and also as a way of letting in beautiful light. Light is generally very well manipulated.”

7 Ways to Get More Light Into Your Home


7 Ways to Get More Light Into Your Home

Having as much natural light as possible is the number one feature people look for when buying or building their family home. By flooding your home with natural light you create a space that feels bigger and brighter, and research also shows the link between natural light and wellbeing. At XUL Architecture our aim is to bring as much natural light into architecture as possible. Here are our top 7 ways you can get more natural light into your home.


An extension isn’t the only place you can have a skylight! You can place one:

  •    Over staircases
  •    On 1st-floor hallways




This tunnel has a skylight at the top of the 1st-floor bringing light down two floors all the way to the basement. As well as bringing in light, it helps to physically connect the spaces. An LED channel reinforces the vertical space running all the way through.



Strip skylight on 1st-floor terrace


(look at effect of strip skylight bringing light behind piano)


XUL office below, bringing in light to the office space in the basement.


Exterior glass louvers over basement courtyard (below)




From inside, bright basement with external courtyard to the front of the property. Glass louvres provide light and natural ventilation.



Consider bringing light from other bright spaces if you don’t have access to external walls. This bathroom is on the 1st-floor and not on an external wall. The stained glass brings in beautiful light from the bright staircase.



Light is brought into the kitchen and everyday dining by perforating the wall. Glass shelves allow the light through.



Using mirrors to reflect light much like the Sir John Soanne Museum in London. Mirrors can be used to bring light into a room and can create interesting spaces and reflections.



Sir John Soanne has some wonderful examples of this, where you, sometimes, don’t know if you are looking at a mirror or glass.

Similarly, in one of our projects, a mirror is used on a door to brighten an otherwise dark entrance lobby. The reflective material on the cloak cupboard also enhances the effect.


A mirror tunnel from the 1st-floor bathroom through the loft, with a skylight at the top. The light is reflected through the tunnel and bounces through the mirrors at different angles.




By using different shapes and cladding materials you can create stunning effects as light changes during the day. These bespoke cone-shaped skylights pull light right into the space. The stainless steel cladding reflects light in wonderful soft patterns so there is never a greenhouse feel to the space.



It is important to understand the building’s volume. What is behind that flat ceiling? Are there opportunities to open up the pitch creating a better space and adding skylights or windows?

St. Margaret’s School below.



Glass screens can open up a space yet also provide privacy at the same time. Dark hallways immediately appear bigger and brighter.



NEWS: The project at Templewood Avenue, NW3 has been published in “Homify” magazine.

“Located in the stylishly chic pocket of Hampstead lies an opulent and majestic home. Templewood Avenue has long been associated with luxury and extravagance, and the homes that sit along this street are no exception.”

See photos of the project and read more by clicking the following link:


NEWS: The project Abbots Gardens, N2 was published in “Homify” magazine.

“The interior style is modern, tasteful and stylish, and a balanced mix of contemporary and antique features. A bright white space and complementary timber floorboards have been dressed up with an eclectic mix of furniture and decoration”

“In the centre of the home greeting the occupants as they enter the front door is the staircase, which acts a central screen to incorporate privacy to the surrounding rooms.”

You can access to the full publication by clicking in the following link:


NEWS: Our offices have been published in Homify.

The meeting room in our office at 33 Belsize Lane has been selected by Homify as one of 10 Unique Office Interiors.

“With a clever way to show off samples and swatches, the designers now have the perfect space to perform client consultations and team meetings”

Have a look to the full selection in the following link.

XUL offices


We want to know you.

Come and join us for tea, cake and free design sessions.

We will be in the square together with two more architectural practices. Bring along some photos and drawings for free consultation.

There will also be activities for kids and a lot of architecture to see.

What: Belsize Village Architects Hub
When: Thursday 11th June 2015, 4-8pm.
Where: Belsize Village, NW3 4AX (Closest Underground Stations: Belsize Park or Swiss Cottage)

Any queries, call us at 0207 431 9014 or e-mail

We look forward to see you!


BELSIZE PARK: Planning Application GRANTED

NEWS: We are happy to announce that the planning application for a contemporary re ar extension & a new basement in Belsize Park has been GRANTED.

This property is located in an elegant residential area of North London. The full proposal also consists in the full refurbishment of a 3-storey Edwarian house and a loft conversion.

The bespoke and innovative design of the rear extension does not appear full width but takes advantage of the full width area. It cleverly uses the different materials and heights to create a visually lightweight extension that allows the user to take advantage of the visuals and light.

The extension is also based on principles of good and sustainable design, incorporating a green roof and lowering the carbon footprint of the property.

The new basement adds additional 63sqm/678sqf to the existing property and includes a flexible playroom that can be divided into two with the use of three sliding folding glass panels.Comparison Rear ExtensionBasement Social

HAMPSTEAD: Planning Application GRANTED

36 flask walk images

NEWS: We are very glad to announce that the planning application for the addition of a new floor in a property in Hampstead has been GRANTED!

The proposed roof extension will be added over the existing second floor of the building, providing an additional storey of accommodation.

The revised roof extension will be recessed by two metres from the projecting line of the principal street façade which will reduce the developments impact on the immediate street-scape.

Find more residential projects in!


Season’s Greetings

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