When people think of our houses, I know that they make a very strong association with sunshine and with abundant natural light brightening all the living spaces of our homes. They are right to do so, for delivering on light and space is at the very heart of everything we believe about design.
Our ability to bring natural light (appropriately filtered in summer) to the centre of homes flows from our commitment to contemporary design, and our liking for flat roofs. Why flat roofs? Because they give the designer the maximum freedom to place walls (or not place walls) according to the way the home should live, not to meet the load-bearing dictates of a heavy roof structure. But thatʼs not all. With a flat roof, you have the opportunity to do something quite special, to pierce the roof at the point of maximum interest and provide windows to the sky, framing the crowns of sheltering trees by day and the blinking of stars by night. These windows to the sky may be the triangular ends of a vaulted ceiling or the curved sides to one of our wave roofs as in the home illustrated.
It is not just the sun that these windows to the sky welcome in. A friend in one of our homes was telling me he was up very late at night recently, watching a sports event live from London.
His family room was suddenly washed with white light from a very bright moon, framed in the vaulted ceiling. Having glanced up at the source of light he returned his gaze to the television where, with early dusk falling in London, the camera panned to show the moon rising there behind the grandstand. He found the moment extraordinary.
There is a quality to moonlight that is wonderfully soothing and of course, unlike the sun, you can gaze at it directly. With the right design, and a window to the sky, you feel that you can almost touch the moon.