Cornell University - East Sibley Hall College of Architecture, Art and Planning



East Sibley Hall is home to Cornell University's College of Architecture, Art, and Planning (Cornell AAP), whose Department of Architecture is one of the world's most prestigious architecture programs. Originally constructed in the late 1800s, by the early 2000s Sibley Hall had undergone numerous transformations.

The decades old skylights on the roof of Sibley Hall had frosted over and faded with time, greatly reducing the amount of natural daylight coming into the building. The exterior steel frame of the building was in extremely poor condition and leaked. And, after many years of housing the weight of the Fine Arts Library, the top of the building had begun to spread apart and the exterior walls were cracking.



Architects knew that intelligent use of natural light would be a significant design element to modernizing the repurposed third floor space. However, renovating a 122-year-old building brings special challenges when it comes to staying on budget.


After conducting extensive research, LEVENBETTS chose the VELUX Modular Skylight (VMS) system Longlight to replace the existing skylights. The design called for two VMS Longlights each of which run a length of 50 feet, by a width of 9 feet, with 25 panel modules.

"There were many ways in which the modular system was advantageous," said architect Stella Betts, Partner of LEVENBETTS. "That we could actually pop out one of the modules was really appealing to everybody. And it also made for a much easier installation."

"It's a really well built, well detailed, high thermal performance skylight," said Andrew Feuerstein of LEVENBETTS. "And it's quite affordable because it's modular."