In Toronto, a painter accustomed to crashing in his studio created an airy artistic haven with both working and living quarters for a more balanced and polished picture. A skylight lets light stream into the dining area, which doubles as a studio/work space. A vintage Danish dining set and Cloud pendants by Frank Gehry for Vitra anchor the room. Photo by Matthew Williams.
It’s not easy to transform a 15-foot-wide building site—wedged between houses in every direction—into a home that feels more spacious than its location allows. Mamm-design’s solution was to dedicate two-thirds of this tiny 653-square-foot house in Tokyo to a 20-foot-high garden room to bring a sense of the outdoors in. A centrally positioned evergreen ash anchors the airy terrace, which is paved with complementary gray bricks. The kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and workspace are all connected to the central space, transforming the covered veranda into a surrealistic theatrical setting for day-to-day life.
American history lives on in a family’s Tribeca, New York, loft after a renovation by Pulltab Design. The firm's inventive use of motorized skylights connected to light wells, which punctuate the space, allowed the architects to create rooms that city ordinances would usually not have permitted. (New York City code prohibits interior rooms that lack light and ventilation, so dividing up a loft space with no windows along a parti wall can be problematic.) They separated the living room from the kitchen-dining area by constructing a boxed-in structure between the two and adding operable skylights to both newly carved-out spaces. Photo by João Canziani.
In a Cambridge, Massachusetts, house renovated by Beat Schenk and Chaewon Kim, an ingenious floor treatment—slats laid over the ceiling beams—enables the skylight to do double duty, pouring sunlight into the living room below. The translucent bathroom wall turns that into triple duty. Photo by Adam Friedberg.