Beginning with the owner’s stated preference for a home with abundant natural light, the name of this project was adapted from that of a famous Beijing garden. The idea of “perfect brightness” was explored architecturally: beginning with research into the psychological effects of different qualities and colors of daylight, a system was developed whereby ambient lighting could change from warm to cool white, depending on the season, time of day, and outdoor lighting conditions. The light is “concentrated” at the center in two twisting, shell-shaped feature walls, drawing visitors in from the entry.
Further, working from the owner’s second preference – to eliminate clutter and create a suitable environment to display an art collection – it was decided that all interior walls would be clad folding wood doors, 132 in total, that would essentially make them all transformable: when open, bookshelves, storage areas, televisions and headboards would be revealed; when closed, all would be concealed, leaving only a simple space forming a serene, museum-like backdrop for artworks.
2016 Citation Award for Residential Architecture : Apartment of Perfect Brightness American Institute of Architects : New York State Chapter
2016 Illumination Award : Apartment of Perfect Brightness Illuminating Engineering Society, International Award of Merit
2016 Illumination Award : Apartment of Perfect Brightness Illuminating Engineering Society, Toronto Section
2015 Design Award for Residential Architecture : Apartment of Perfect Brightness American Institute of Architects : Buffalo/WNY Chapter
designers: Adam Sokol, Daymond Robinson, Gregory Serweta
collaborators: Smith + Andersen (lighting design) Claudy Jongstra (textile design)