Shimmer House

Reflective materials transform a seaside condominium into a light-harvesting space.

A 1960s-era condominium located on the seashore in northwest Florida offers an advantageous location with impeccable vistas of the Gulf of Mexico. However, the main living space is supplied with only two small windows and a sliding door, thus limiting access to available light and views.

The Shimmer House retrofit employs mirror-clad reflective panels and a polished tile floor to convert a relatively dark space into a light-gathering chamber. Slightly-angled walls and ceiling planes amplify reflected views and provide depth for the incorporation of near-frameless interior lights and a flat-screen display. Furniture made entirely of reflective or transparent materials completes the effect, and appears to dissolve within the immersive interior landscape.

View of the existing condominium living room.
View of living room windows and integral flat-screen display.
View of the existing living room wall.
View of the Shimmer House at sunset.

Challenges:
* added visual noise may be disorienting for some occupants
* reflective surfaces require regular cleaning
Benefits:
* greatly increases available light
* reduces need for interior electric lighting
* amplifies views of natural scenery