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Once an external courtyard, a 3 layer ETFE cushion roof now sits proudly at the centre of the Falmouth University campus providing students with a bright and open space which is weather-proof all year round.

Working with APG Architecture, Falmouth University were keen to expand their city campus without increasing their footprint and enclosing the existing 1960s courtyard seemed like the ideal option. However, with existing studios all around the outside relying on natural light from the courtyard, the material choice for the building envelope would be critical to the success of the project.

An ETFE cushion system provided the ideal solution; its light weight meant that the existing building was able to support it without the need for reinforcement and the high translucency of ETFE foil allowed the surrounding buildings to maintain good levels of light inside.

Working closely with the project team, we designed a multi-level ETFE cushion roof that tied the disparate buildings together to create a unified space. Vertical ETFE cushions infill the gap between levels to ensure a weathertight space below and giving maximum light ingress.

As fabrication of the ETFE cushions is carried out off-site, the construction period was quick and painless and ensured students and staff could continue to safely use the courtyard space for access with disruption.

The result? A completely regenerated and modern education space! The ETFE foil cushion roof has given the courtyard a new lease of life and the space is now widely used for everything from study groups to black tie events. We’re thrilled to have worked with Falmouth University and APG Architects on this stunning ETFE cushion roof.

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