Saturday, March 10, 2012

Golden Rectangles, Golden Light

The five little openings in the stone wall of the Great Room now have aluminum window frames in them. They face due west, so I had to get some shots of them when the sun was setting.

As with the storefront window, the aluminum frames were installed first and the glass will be ordered and installed later.

The final touch in sealing up these windows will be mortar to fill in the gaps between the metal frame and the stone, which the mason will do.

There are nine total openings in the stone wall, but only the lower five pass into the Great Room and have glass in them.

In an earlier post I explained that the organization of this group of openings mimics a group of trees on the site. The size of each opening also mimics the relative trunk-size of the tree it represents. (Some of these trees still stand in the courtyard.) This was a way to get God's designs through nature directly into the building. I like to say, tongue-in-cheek (sort of), that however sin-tainted the rest of the design is, at least this part is pure.

I think I also mentioned before that the proportions of the openings are all either a perfect square or a "golden rectangle" (vertical or horizontal). "Golden" refers to the fact that the ratio between the sides of this particular rectangle is the same as that found in many living organisms (nautilus seashells, sunflowers, even the human body). Hence the other term for this ratio - "divine proportion." This ratio is intimately related geometrically to the square, so it made sense to sit them next to each other in this wall. (Not to mention that the square is also the generative shape for the entire house.)

While at sunset these windows breath light into the Great Room, at other times they will exhale and glow from outside. Such as around noon when the sun bathes the inside through the skylight:

I look forward to seeing these windows from outside after dark when the electric lights are on in this space - or better yet, a bunch of candles burning. From the street they may appear like a group of lanterns floating up through the trees. Warm golden light streaming through cold grey stone. They may be the most visible part of the whole house at that time. And I'll be especially glad they were not organized by my hand.

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