Watch Light Play in 14 Homes By Paris to Texas

Watch Light Play in 14 Homes By Paris to Texas

Simple uses of sunlight can change our homes in the static and expected to the dynamic and unexpected. Anyone who has visited a building near water will probably be familiar with the beautiful effect created by bright sunlight reflecting on the walls and ceilings inside. Occasionally the added ingredient may only be sunlight refracted through raindrops on glass; other times it is a purposely designed component on the facade.

Architects utilize a variety of ways to engage our senses. A clear glass window concentrates our attention somewhere past the surface: a distant hill outside or a daring painting interior. Change the substance, and our interest may focus on the surface itself, perhaps a shape of someone passing by. Change the lighting state, and our focus may focus on some thing proposed in the substance, perhaps creating a kaleidoscope of light.

From shading devices such as slatted blinds and movable screens, to using translucent materials such as glass block and translucent onyx, these architects show us the way to utilize sunlight to create surprisingly dynamic effects.

1. Maison de Verre, Paris, Pierre Chareau, Bernard Bijvoet and Louis Dalbet

This Residence is a modernist masterpiece, built in Paris in 1928. The external form is defined by translucent glass block walls within a steel structure. Select areas of clear glazing were added for transparency. Floodlights led at night the building indoors in the walls outside illuminate.

Bercy Chen Studio

2. Beverly Skyline, Austin, Texas, Bercy Chen Studio

This is a modern take on Maison de Verre, using recycled glass cubes as insulating infill panels between the steel structure. The positioning of the light sources inside and the varying qualities of the glass cubes add to the ethereal glow.

Studio Carver Architects, Inc..

3. Blair Barn, Santa Ynez, California, Studio Carver

The Blair Barn is clad with a translucent fiberglass-reinforced composite sandwich panel Named Kalwall. At night it arouses a mysterious glow.

Studio Carver Architects, Inc..

Due to this insulation and structural properties of Kalwall, it may be used for roofs, walls or, as in this case, big sliding screen doors.

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Elliott + Elliott Architecture

4. House on Penobscot Bay, Maine, Elliot + Elliot Architecture

Channel glass, which has seen a resurgence in recent years, is very similar to insulated polycarbonate or Kalwall since it infuses the spaces indoors with a constant light. Channel glass may also can span floor-to-ceiling spaces and act as insulation.

KIMOY Studios

5. Red Hook Townhouse, Brooklyn, New York, Kimoy Studios

This floor-to-ceiling glazed wall is subdivided, with opaque glazing in the reduced level and crystal clear glass over to show the trees and skies. Individuals passing by on the street throw soft shadows on the glass indoors.

Shinberg Levinas Architectural Design

6. Gillon Residence, Maryland, Shinberg Levinas Architectural Design

Here the architects picked an opal screen. Shadows cast onto the screen by the finned timber slatted screen outside are given added dynamism in the trees.

Moussafir Architectes

7. Maison Escalier, France, Moussafir Architectes

Here’s another example of a perforated sheet-metal screen. It’s the appearance of a delicate veil at night. Throughout the day the screen folds back out of sight.

8. East Village Brownstone, New York City, Bill Peterson

In this New York building, a perforated sheet-metal screen allows a level of natural light and privacy from the street immediately behind. The perforations reflect the masonry corner stones of this brownstone building’s exterior.

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aamodt / plumb architects

9. Hamptons Beach House, New York, aamodt/plumb architects

Swirling floral patterns on this floor-to-ceiling glazing supply both solitude and dynamic patterns on the walls and flooring. It takes the traditional model of fall foliage privacy glass to a high art form!

Princeton Architectural Press

10. Live/Work/Home, Syracuse, New York, Cook + Fox Architects

Pinpoints of light from within show through the perforated steel metallic screen of the live-work building. Massive doors fold up when it is open for business.

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Taylor Smyth Architects

11. Sunset Cabin, Ontario, Canada, Taylor Smyth Architects

Sunlight passing through the carefully spaced timber slatted screen outside bathes this room with a warm, diffused light.

12. Curved House, Springfield, Missouri, Hufft Projects

A slatted screen encloses the pool but allows diffused perspectives of the landscape beyond. Similar slatted timber screens are also utilized to offer privacy within the home.

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13. Villa Vista, Weligama, Sri Lanka, Shigeru Ban

Giant movable screens offer shade in this open room. Taking it one step farther, mini blinds within the screens are on slightly different planes, mixing to create a intricate tapestry of light and color.

Shinberg Levinas Architectural Design

14. River Hill Residence, Shinberg Levinas Architectural Design

The architects put a floating screen for growing vines in front of the residence, so the surface of the home is now the garden itself.

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