We’ve hit a seminal moment in the build, we have windows!
This is a moment we have been waiting for since Stephen first designed the house. The windows compromise something like 10% of our budget (which is much higher than average) and are central to the design of the house. Stephen wanted to create the feeling of almost being outside when inside, to blur the division between our inside home and our outside one and I think he has succeeded. Each room frames beautiful views, like mini masterpieces; each unique and perfect.
When Stephen was designing this house I said I wanted it to be “filled with light” and so it is. Each room feels as though it only has three walls, the fourth is a wall of glass. As well as being aesthetically and spiritually pleasing the glass serves another purpose, heat. In the winter months we will achieve a goodly amount of ‘solar gain’, warming the house at no cost to ourselves or the environment. This is based on the Passivhaus model, though we don’t quite have the bajillions of dollars it would cost to build a fully passive house!
The overhangs on both floors are 3ft, cutting out the high summer sun and keeping the interior pleasantly shaded (but still light). In the summer the sun sets to the far west of the house where there is only 1 window and that is shaded by the study wing so it still isn’t receiving heated sunlight in those sweltering months. But because the house is orientated South West we are already beginning to benefit from the movement of the sun as he moves to his more southerly position. During these last days of summer, with our cooler evenings and fresher breezes, we are now able to bask in the setting sun spilling over our threshold and lighting up our evenings. That perfect light outside tinting everything with gold.
9 months ago Stephen stood in this spot, surrounded by snow and freezing as the winter winds blasted him. He watched the sun, worked out it’s movements, brought together all his knowledge and reading and then decided on the orientation of the house. Now we stand at exactly the end of August as the season cools, watching the sunshine spill in and knowing it will continue to do so throughout the winter and spring. But when the summer heat burns we will be sheltered from it, as we’ve seen these last few months.
He really is a clever bugger.