Let It Shine: 7 Elegant Clerestory Windows

written by:
January 1, 2014
Clerestory windows have been around since the time of the ancient Egyptians, and there's a reason for their staying power. By drawing sunlight from high spaces, clerestory windows help bathe a room in natural light, even when angles aren't optimal. Here are some creative uses of this enduring feature.
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  A lofted sleeping space furnished with a king-size bed was made possible when Gray Organschi Architects raised the ceiling in the guest cottage they designed for a couple in Guilford, Connecticut, to create a triangular clerestory window. The move carved out enough headroom to make the second-floor space usable, while still keeping the cottage in compliance with strict local zoning rules for “accessory” buildings. Photo by Mark Mahaney.  Photo by: Mark Mahaney

    A lofted sleeping space furnished with a king-size bed was made possible when Gray Organschi Architects raised the ceiling in the guest cottage they designed for a couple in Guilford, Connecticut, to create a triangular clerestory window. The move carved out enough headroom to make the second-floor space usable, while still keeping the cottage in compliance with strict local zoning rules for “accessory” buildings. Photo by Mark Mahaney.

    Photo by: Mark Mahaney

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  A band of clerestory windows illuminates the interior of a house that Carterwilliamson Architects renovated in Glebe, Australia, a suburb of Sydney. Photo by Brett Boardman.  Photo by: Brett Boardman

    A band of clerestory windows illuminates the interior of a house that Carterwilliamson Architects renovated in Glebe, Australia, a suburb of Sydney. Photo by Brett Boardman.

    Photo by: Brett Boardman

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  A band of roof-line windows helps keep his 172-square-foot office and guest house tin Los Angeles bathed in natural light. Photo by Eric Staudenmaier.  Photo by: Eric Staudenmaier

    A band of roof-line windows helps keep his 172-square-foot office and guest house tin Los Angeles bathed in natural light. Photo by Eric Staudenmaier.

    Photo by: Eric Staudenmaier

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  Natural light floods a small guesthouse in Præstø, on the Danish island of Zealand, through a clerestory window.

    Natural light floods a small guesthouse in Præstø, on the Danish island of Zealand, through a clerestory window.

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  Natural light filters through a series of apertures, including a clerestory window above the kitchen area, in a former tavern in Chicago’s trendy Bucktown neighborhood. Photo by Doug Fogelson/DRFP.  Photo by: Doug Fogelson/DRFP

    Natural light filters through a series of apertures, including a clerestory window above the kitchen area, in a former tavern in Chicago’s trendy Bucktown neighborhood. Photo by Doug Fogelson/DRFP.

    Photo by: Doug Fogelson/DRFP

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  The clerestory windows in this the midcentury modern house by A. Quincy Jones in Santa Monica, California, were originally screens covered by sliding plywood panels that could be opened to let in light and air. Photo by Darcy Hemley.  Photo by: Darcy Hemley

    The clerestory windows in this the midcentury modern house by A. Quincy Jones in Santa Monica, California, were originally screens covered by sliding plywood panels that could be opened to let in light and air. Photo by Darcy Hemley.

    Photo by: Darcy Hemley

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  Architect Jamie Darnell had a simple plan for his family’s home in Kansas City, Missouri, but the result is anything but plain. Ample windows, including a clerestory strip in the living room, let in plenty of natural light during the day Photo by Chad Holder.  Photo by: Chad Holder

    Architect Jamie Darnell had a simple plan for his family’s home in Kansas City, Missouri, but the result is anything but plain. Ample windows, including a clerestory strip in the living room, let in plenty of natural light during the day Photo by Chad Holder.

    Photo by: Chad Holder

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