Light Box

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Client: Private Client

Location: Margate, NJ, United States

Completion date: 2013

Artwork budget: $18,000

Project Team

Architect

Stephan Potts

Stanev Potts Architects

Industry Resource

Bud Graves Construction

Bud Graves Construction

Overview

This wood and glass stair insert is part of the complete renovation of a suburban house in a densely developed seaside neighborhood. The challenge of this detail was to enliven the core of the house on a tight budget while maintaining privacy.

Goals

The focus on introducing light, open spaces, and reorienting the circulation allowed Stanev Potts architects to control views in and out and strengthen the aesthetic of the home. The home builder, an accomplished carpenter, was able to to build the individual panels and install them in the stairwell, with hidden steel plates for stability spaced between the panels.

Process

The Light Box is visible from almost every room in the home and forms a core of light and material warmth in what used to be the dark, opaque center of the house. To control costs, standard size clear grain cedar 1x6 boards were ripped into three sizes without scrap and placed unfinished on panels in a simple repeating pattern to build this translucent railing/privacy screen. Light from the skylight above bounces off and through the wood, animating the stairwell and the spaces beyond. The smell of cedar permeates throughout the home enhancing the experiential aspect of the space.