Reach for the Sky(lights).Published on 22nd August 2014
Skylights seem almost synonymous with trendy modern architecture; perfectly marrying form and function with aesthetically pleasing design and clear practical application, they provide the ultimate in environmentally-friendly lighting.
It’s funny to think, then, that we’ve been using them in our public buildings for millennia. Although rarely thought of as such, one of the most famous skylights is that of the Pantheon. Known as the oculus, it was commissioned during the reign of Augustus (27BC–14AD) and two thousand years later it, or rather the building that hosts it, remains standing. Impressive stuff.
Of course, unlike in the modern skylight, there’s no glass to close the oculus, so the weather enters the building at will. It was the needs and development of the Industrial Revolution, which saw glass panels being installed in factory roofs, public buildings and stately homes. Then hinged, vented ‘roof windows’ became available. Technology advanced, prices reduced and in the twentieth century it finally became viable to install these shining pieces of ancient history in practically any home. As Apropos founder, Vincent Hartley, was the first person to employ aluminium frames in glass architecture, we like to think that we’re in no small way responsible for that development!
Today, skylights are sometimes underrated. We’re so used to seeing them, that we almost forget how useful they can be. We all know that in an attic conversion a skylight can be the only source of natural light available, but they’re too often poorly placed, too poorly made, or inappropriately sized, to deliver optimum results: a bright, airy, attractive, functional environment in which it’s a pleasure to spend time.
Like everything else we do, Apropos skylights are made to order. Our bespoke crafting service means that we can create the ideal oculus to suit your room’s occupation! Big or small; flat roof or sloping; sealed unit or vented; discreet glazing or elevated; modern or classically designed. Forget about attics; think about brightening your kitchen extension; enhancing your office space; let there be light in your living room (assuming that it’s not situated beneath your bedroom!); illuminate your staircase; ventilate your bathroom.
We’re all too busy these days; we don’t spend enough time looking up. Wherever it’s placed, a skylight will draw the eye, giving you space to let your thoughts wander, cloud-shaping, star-gazing, weather-watching, sunbathing. Reach for the sky this autumn, and make the most of the big blue above.