National Space Centre unveils new visitor centre with eye-catching rooflight

National Space Centre unveils new visitor centre with eye-catching rooflight

The National Space Centre Visitor attraction opened its doors to visitors in the summer of 2001. Since then it has gone on to increase its visitor numbers year on year, now recording in excess of 300,000 visitors each year.

In 2018, work was undertaken to build and open the ‘Launch Pad’; a new visitor area which was to incorporate a bright and welcoming entrance hall and ticketing area along with an exhibition and education space to allow more STEM teaching facilities. The 850m² project was designed by architects Pick Everard.

The investment of over £7m saw the creation of a striking entrance hall capped with a new oval feature illuminated VELUX Xtralite rooflight which gives a stunning view upwards to the Rocket Tower; the identifiable feature of this iconic visitor attraction, and allows plenty of natural light to penetrate into the hall making it an airy and pleasant space to be.

The thermally enhanced Xtralite X-Span self-supporting bespoke shaped oval monopitch rooflight was pitched at a minimum 5°. An overall size of 6m x 3.6m resulted in an internal span size of 5.7m x 3.3m which was manufactured in 6 separate facetted bays and was installed in builder’s upstands pitched at 5°.

The striking rooflight was completed with 31.5mm double glazed units which comprised of an 6mm outer leaf with Guardian Sunguard SN 70/35 toughened glass, a cavity of 16mm argon filled with black spacer bar, and an inner leaf measuring 9.5mm of clear laminated glass with a 1.52mm pvb interlayer.

The glazing specification was particularly enhanced with the inclusion of Guardian Sunguard, a neutral blue glass which allows high levels of natural light penetration whilst achieving a low solar heat gain and reducing the need for additional artificial light.

This helps with visitor comfort levels and also makes the building more energy efficient, negating the need for excessive additional heating and cooling.

Xtralite (Rooflights) Limited was established in 1993 and quickly became the UK’s largest independent producer of rooflights. It has recently been acquired by VELUX Commercial. The company is renowned for its quality products, flexible manufacturing systems and innovative design. Xtralite is dedicated in providing solutions to meet all Day Light and Building Efficiency demands and continues to invest in the development of technical expertise, product development and manufacturing capabilities. The company has developed and introduced a range of industry leading products such as the X-One and X-Two Next Generation Rooflights, Lumira Advanced Glazing Technology, X-Emplar product range and specialist materials for the reduction of solar gain.

In recognition of Xtralite’s dedication to quality it has been awarded the ISO9001:2000 accreditation for design, manufacturing and customer service.

All products are manufactured at Xtralite’s facilities in Blyth, Northumberland.

Further information about the National Space Centre can be found by visiting
Further information about the entire range of rooflights manufactured by VELUX Xtralite can be found by visiting or by calling 01670 354 157.

Feature by Xtralite