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Dramatic ascent Back

A dramatic lightwell in a Mt Eden house has shown the potential for eye-catching results when commercial window systems are applied to a residential project.

Auckland architect Jonathan Hawksworth visualised a glowing two-storey box linking upstairs and downstairs at his family’s new home. The rest of the house used the METRO Series from the FIRST® Windows & Doors range but the engineering demands of the stairwell, which stands outside the building envelope, required a bespoke solution.

Jonathan, a partner at Black Box Architects, drew on his commercial work to design a steel frame for the lightwell. Then a three-sided window system from the FIRST® Seismic 40mm suite was constructed and tied to the steel frame using brackets fixed to the 40mm transoms. The window profiles were in silver frost anodised finish. The steel beams were aligned with corner posts to minimise visual obtrusion.

A crucial step to achieve a glowing translucent effect was the execution by Jonathan’s wife, Justine, of the design and manufacture of an applied frosted film for the double glazed panes. Justine, an artist and teacher, provided the design template for each elevation. The pattern was composed of layered lines with a graphic depiction of the nearby volcanic cones of Maungawhau (Mt Eden), Maungakiekie (One Tree Hill) and Big King, from the Three Kings area. The layering allows some glass transparency to balance privacy and a view to the outside.

The window system, constructed by FIRST® manufacturer, Windowmakers, of Silverdale, has one corner at 90° with the other at 105°.

The rest of the Hawksworth home used the METRO Series in black frost anodised finish with products including sliding doors, sliding windows and awning windows. Jonathan, whose work involves a mix of residential and commercial projects, often works with the METRO Series because of its versatility and size capabilities.

Credit: ebossNOW August 2014