Room by Room: The Grand Gallery*
Some architects hate hallways. Frank Lloyd Wright in particular felt they were a total waste of space; some of his were as narrow as eighteen inches (I've walked through his narrowest, and it's not pleasant—and I'm not even claustrophobic). Other designers use them willy-nilly, with no logical sense other than having to get from point A to point B. And it seems almost no one makes any attempt to take an aesthetic approach to them. When I finally settled on the three-level house design, I discovered that I had an opportunity to make a single long hallway that not only serviced all of my point-A-to-B needs, but offered exciting design options as well.
Thus I arrived at what I call The Grand Gallery. With a comfortable width of four feet, it became a space all its own. What makes it particularly special is all of the natural light provided by windows over the two staircases. Facing southwest toward a clearing (a.k.a. The View), these windows receive loads of light almost all day long, especially in the winter; they also offer inviting glimpses of the view, drawing one down the stairs toward the main living space. Looking down:
During the afternoon, the sunlight traces interesting paths along the walls and floor. As I was building it, I was anxious to see the space finished so I could enjoy the light show anew. Looking up:
I'd sent a sketch, below left, to my architect early in the project, but the suggestion never showed up in any of his drawings. It wasn't until I started building my home that I was at last able to realize my vision. View from the outside, below right.
When sheetrocking began, I finished the windows so as to be frame- and sill-less, to completely blend them in with their surroundings and create a contiguous surface for the length of the hallway.
Sheetrocking was finished on 21 July 2019.
At around 6:30 AM the next day, I got to see "...the space finished so I could enjoy the light show anew."
Even on a dismally cloudy day—such as this one, 16 October 2019, at 11:47 AM—the space remains well-illuminated. If anything, the light of a cloudy day is somewhat more interesting than that of a sunny one.
*Originally named The Canyon, the Grand Gallery was renamed in May 2020 after a visitor remarked about its resemblance to Grand Gallery of the Great Pyramid.
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