12 Striking Examples of Clerestory Windows in Modern Homes

The term "clerestory" is applicable to Egyptian temples, where the lighting of the hall of columns was obtained over the stone roofs of the adjoining aisles, through slits pierced in vertical slabs of stone.
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Here are some examples of modern clerestory window arrangements that similarly aspire towards the heavens.

1. Modernist Oasis in California

A floor-to-ceiling window frames the dining area of a Canadian family’s getaway in Palm Springs, California, renowned for its iconic midcentury architecture and legendary celebrity habitués. 

The shape of the roof eave is designed to allow winter sun into the house while cutting out the hot summer sun.

The kitchen, framed by Loewen windows, features walnut butcher block countertops, custom made by Dovetail, a Hansgrohe faucet, Franke apron sink, Miele refrigerator and oven, and Thermador cooktop.

Clerestory windows from YKK Commercial give the illusion that the roof hovers above the house—a key factor in keeping the light, modern touch that the homeowners desired. Epstein did not design the clerestories in a single, straight line; the glass drops down where possible to allow the maximum amount of light. It took a bit of convincing the sway his clients. "He said, 'Listen to me, stay with my concept, and you won't be sorry,'" Tetreault recalls. "So I stuck with it, and I'm not sorry."

In the house’s front room Kent Monkman relaxes on a stool from local retailer Andrew Richard Designs. A new window system draws in sunlight and views of the front courtyard designed by local landscape architect Terry McGlade, the building’s former owner.

For this project, the husband loved ultra-modern design, while the wife leaned towards a more traditional aesthetic. How to please both? "Through the design process, we learned that their tastes were actually more closely aligned when we focused on the desired 'feel' of the home versus specific design details," Field says.

He and his colleagues balanced rustic, exposed ceiling beams with elegant Venetian plaster walls, and artful aluminum storefront windows with functional white oak plank flooring.

Ciavarra used floor-to-ceiling glass for the master bedroom, which leads onto a deck. "We wanted a place that just drew us up like a magnet," says Sophie about creating her dream home. "The house's design, comfort, and style certainly achieves that." 

Light is invited into the home through the 75-foot wall of windows in the main living area. Kopel’s favorite part of the home is "the changing quality of light" that "animates the living space" from day to day and season to season. Lucifer architectural lighting and Polk Audio in-wall speakers add understated function.

This airy addition on the back of an historic house in Boise is a model of sensitive renovation, seamlessly melding new and old.  

Designed by architects Rick Shean and Christopher Simmonds, a project in Quebec, Canada, was a winner of the 2014 Architects Challenge, a collection of annual submissions each year that display architectural creativity and feature Marvin Windows and Doors.  

A system of clerestory windows, positioned underneath a cantilevered roof, strategically filters natural light through the interior. A full-height window in the living area provides dramatic views of passing storms.

The owners requested that the kitchen act as the center of the home so it was built at the rear of the property. "It allowed us to pop off the roof and add clerestory windows to bring in an abundance of sunlight and fresh air," DiRocco said. The sink is by Blanco and the faucet is by Grohe.


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