Architecture: How to Bring in Light From Above to Transform a Space
Whether it’s to illuminate a dining table or highlight a feature, cleverly placed roof glazing can make a huge difference to your home
Even if you’re not planning a major renovation, looking around your home – and particularly looking up – may reveal places where the introduction of some glazing in a roof could really enhance the quality of a space. From simple, small, Velux-type roof windows to more ambitious expanses of glass, roof glazing can transform a space – sometimes even a space you didn’t think had any potential to be transformed!
Even floors offer opportunities for increasing light levels. For instance, a basement room can ‘borrow’ light from a brighter ground floor room above, through a judiciously placed opening in its ceiling, with or without glazing.
Browse these examples for inspiration.
The roof glazing in this extension is located to bring as much daylight as possible into the original house – and it does that without being very wide. It also denotes where the original house ends and the extension begins, and visually warms up the brick wall.
In this space, the exterior wall provides ample light and views to the garden, but roof glazing over the banquette seating subtly washes the wall behind it with light and draws attention to the texture of the wall.
Roof glazing above a shower can make the daily ritual more special – a flood of natural light, and in this case a glimpse of trees outside, almost gives the impression of showering outdoors.
Browse more ways skylights can bring sunshine into your life
An otherwise simple courtyard garden is transformed at night when the space below is revealed through glass floor panels, which gently glow. By day, the panels bring daylight to the subterranean space.
This dramatic infill extension has large glass panels with minimal amounts of frame, which can often be distracting. This helps keep the focus on the interior space and the materials used to create it – including the reused existing brick walls.
See more great glass-box extensions
Glass roofs over dining tables often present a challenge when it comes to how to light the table at night. Here, the roof glazing is interrupted by solid elements for pendant lights, which allow the table to be enjoyed both day and night.
Top floor bathrooms are great places for some glazing in the roof. As well as providing lots of daylight from above, the walls can be kept free of windows, which allows much more flexibility when placing the fittings – no clashes between windows and basin mirrors here!
By placing the roof glazing and floor glass panels directly above one another, the effect can be dramatic. Here, light from above, and glimpses from one space to another, enrich the result.
This space is essentially a route from one part of a house to another, but the glass roof and glass panels in the floor animate it and make passing through many times a day a much more pleasurable experience.
Bold use of a large frameless roof lantern – a contemporary take on a traditional architectural device – adds a sense of height and volume to this interior kitchen, and anchors the island placed below it. And of course, it floods the space with daylight.
Which parts of your house could be transformed by bringing in extra daylight from above? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.