When I was a teenager my bedroom had two small skylights, each about one square foot. My sister’s adjacent bedroom had more closet space and a view of the backyard, but I valued my overhead beams of daylight above all else.
So, when Isabelle Robertson of Seattle-based design firm Piano Nobile sent me these photos of their “Semaphore Glass House” project I experienced severe symptoms of home envy (grinning, humming, maybe a little tear in my eye). The glass space addition to the rooftop is essentially a skylight ROOM.
“Our client [Adrian Burton Jovanovic] needed to replace the roof on his aging building, but when he climbed up on the roof and saw the view he began to think of more than just a utilitarian roof job,” says Isabelle, who runs Piano Nobile with husband Nick. “He wanted something more dynamic than a roof deck, something that could set the stage for the live musical performances and impromptu concerts he likes to host.”
Inspired by New York’s Highline Park and the towering industrial grain silos and cranes far below the house on Elliot Bay (where shipping containers unload their global cargo), the “glass house” is used as a reading and music room for relaxing and enjoying the view. And for those parties and concerts Jovanovic hosts (he’s in the music industry), the space serves as an illuminated backdrop, “like a lantern set on the Ipe deck.“
It can also contain a small gathering of friends in any weather. I love how the room feels like a treehouse with that forested backdrop. (The property is adjacent to a public park.)
The room is separated from the rest of the house by a custom horizontal automated sliding door that encloses the staircase below (and acts as a skylight when closed).
Thanks for sharing this unique project with us Isabelle and Nick! I’ll call you the second I have a roof to remodel.