An atrium is an interior court on to which rooms open. The atrium has become an almost
universal feature of commercial buildings. Occasionally, the incorporation
of an atrium can transform existing buildings.
Although much of the appeal of atria lies in their aesthetic attributes,
they have the practical advantage of bringing natural light and ventilation
often deep into a building.
The shape and form of the atrium also has an important effect on the availability
of natural lighting in the spaces adjacent to the atrium. Several factors
need to be considered:
- The structure of the atrium roof can reduce its transparency by between
20 and 50%. This is an important factor if the ground level is meant
to be predominantly naturally lit.
- The offices enclosing the atrium will benefit from a measure of natural
light as well as external views. Access to natural light will be improved
significantly if the sides of the atrium are stepped outward.
- The surface finish in respect of color and reflectance of the atrium
walls will influence the level of daylight reaching the lower floors.