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Who Needs a Skylight When You Can Shoot Light Out of a Cannon?

Inspired by James Turrell, architect Beverly Choe uses light to reshape the experience of a room.

Reading room, Cole Valley. Bach Architecture.


Out with the pedestrian skylight, in with the light cannon. Inspired by artist James Turrell, architect Beverly Choe uses light to reshape a room. Rather than punch a hole straight from the ceiling to the roof, she individually frames each opening in wood, sculpting the diffusion of light in stairwells, bathrooms, and reading nooks. “I try to choreograph an experience by thinking about what time of day the space is going to be used and angling the columns of light,” she says. “The idea is to encourage slowness and bring some beauty to everyday rituals.” When the sun-casting cannons are positioned in the corners and along the edges of rooms, indirect light bounces off adjacent walls to create a rich, hazy glow.

Read more New Rules of Design coverage here.

Originally published in the October issue of
San Francisco

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