Lighting and Architecture are often inseparable


All of the hanging lights we could find were much too commercial, so we created our own fixtures to up-light the beamed ceiling.  We designed these with piercings and a slot down the center to give them the "buoyancy" they need to "float" overhead, like a rowing skiff at rest.  The imagery is appropriate for this House at Deep Landing.

Skiff Light photos by Tyler Campbell

Photo by Ched Bradley

We couldn't find any fixtures both small and refined enough for this hallway at the Winding Creek House, so we designed our own - simple triangles of brass - to underscore the liveliness of the coffer row.


Lighting enhances the Spatial Structure and Trim
Three Components of Architecture that always Interact

All copyrights reserved - ChesArch 2008

From one point of view, the art of architecture can be described as the making poetry by arranging materials in sunlight.  But architecture must also satisfy after dusk, and so one of the most artful tasks the architect can undertake is the lighting design.  It is important to achieve the right lighting levels, of course, but foremost a successful lighting design integrates the light fixtures with the rest of the architecture (the ceiling framing, air-conditioning grills, beam trim, etc.) such that the light is delivered where it will enhance the architecture and enrich the atmosphere.  Most fixtures in an architecture-sensitive lighting design will unobtrusively light the interior surfaces.  Only a critical few should call attention to themselves. In summary, a good lighting design enriches the architecture, before and after the sun goes down.  To do so, it must be sensitively integrated.

There are wonderful lighting fixtures on the market, both subtle and sensational.  Each has its place in building design and, of course, the Owner's tastes govern.  Occasionally we find the circumstances unusual enough that the mass market just doesn't serve that niche.  Fortunately we have metal-working experience and good relations with lighting craftsmen.  (We eventually designed their studio-factory)  For a select few projects we have designed the custom lighting fixtures (shown here).

Our most unusual lighting fixture (above right) originated with the idea that the house would have a ceiling of exposed floor joists, illuminated by hanging up-lights.  We expected these would be stock fixtures, but when we searched for options, all we found were too commercial for this carefully crafted house and its varnished trim.  When we showed her what the market offered, the Owner agreed we should design custom lights of cherry to compliment the rest of the house.  The "Skiff Lights" you see above are the result.

The coffer lights (to the left) also couldn't  be found among stock offerings, so we designed the petite triangular fixture of brass (below), with a delicate halogen low-voltage light. 

Note the slot at the tip in the shade, added for visual interest and liveliness.  You can see, in the photo below, the faint spike of brightness it lets stretch across the coffer center. 

Coffer Lights (above) by Owner


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