written by:
photos by:
February 15, 2014
Originally published in 8 Modern Renovations
as
Track Star
Thanks to a folding glass wall and a custom-built bed, dreams of sleeping under the stars came true for a Cincinnati, Ohio, couple.
custom-built bed in Cincinnati
Architect John Senhauser was asked to design a master bedroom addition 1950s ranch house in Cincinnati, Ohio, belonging to a lawyer and his wife.
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custom-built bed in Cincinnati
Senhauser's clients initially wanted a retractable roof, but were persuaded to do something more practical. "We kind of noodled around with the idea and ultimately decided that it would be easier if the bed came out on the porch than the roof rolling back over the bedroom," Senhauser says. A bank of folding doors by NanaWall opens to a terrace that overlooks a swimming pool. The bed is normally stationed against a wall but can slide onto the terrace when the residents wish to sleep outside.
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custom-built bed in Cincinnati
With a gentle nudge, architect John Senhauser pushes a custom bed outside onto the terrace. The bed travels along a metal track set into the white-oak floor. The ceiling rafters are Douglas fir.
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custom-built bed in Cincinnati
The bed is stationed on a custom wheeled frame and positioned over a track. The low-tech set up requires no maintenance other than a minor lube job every now and then.
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custom-built bed in Cincinnati
When the bed reaches the threshold, it slides out from the frame like a drawer so it's completely outside. "Because there are few chances to sleep outside, due to temperature or insects or humidity, the opportunities are really special," Senhauser says. "You can't do it every couple of days—it becomes a treat."
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custom-built bed in Cincinnati
Architect John Senhauser was asked to design a master bedroom addition 1950s ranch house in Cincinnati, Ohio, belonging to a lawyer and his wife. Image courtesy of Ty Wright.
Project 
Tecumseh Trail Residence

To ease into slumber, some people count sheep—but what if you could gaze up into the great firmament and search for constellations instead? That was the vision of architect John Senhauser’s clients, a lawyer and his wife who wanted to sleep outdoors. They batted around ideas of a retractable roof but ultimately opted for a low-tech—and more budget-friendly—option: a metal track to steer a custom-built bed through a bank of folding glass doors onto a terrace. Guided by a pin that slots into the track, the bed (designed by Jane Keller) pivots 90 degrees as it’s wheeled to the terrace. As it approaches the NanaWall threshold, the sleeping platform slides out from the wood frame. Senhauser describes the mechanism—a necessary adaptation since the NanaWall and bed tracks aren’t compatible—as being “like a drawer.” Though Cincinnati’s climate prevents year-round use, the residents savor the experience in the spring and fall. “Because there are few chances to sleep outside, due to temperature or insects or humidity, the opportunities are really special,” says Senhauser. “You can’t do it every couple of days—it becomes a treat.”

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