Keeping dry but also keeping natural light Essay

Transparent rain protectors offer overhead cover while keepingdoorways bright. All four of our examples–shown here and on page114–use tempered glass or acrylic for roofing material.The first two examples use the glass as part of long walkwaysleading to front doors. The two on page 114 have smaller-scale”eyebrows” over patio doors.Designer Tom Ward of Village Design Group in Petaluma, California,integrated his rain protector in 27 feet of the 53-foot-long coveredwalkway leading to the entry of a two-story house.

The walkway runsalong the side of a one-car garage; Ward positioned the garage in frontof the house for privacy from the street and because the lot was a scant35 feet wide. The glass fits into the extended eaves of the gable roofleading to the main house. Ward used factory seconds of temperedsliding-glass door panels. Each panel measures 34 by 76 inches and issandwiched between layers of pretrimmed butyl glazing tape, allowingmovement but sealing out rain. Above the seams, aluminum channelscrewed to the extended rafters holds the panels in place.To offer protection from Portland’s all-too-frequent rains,architect James Oliver added an open-ended, shed-roof greenhouse alongthe entry of the hillside house shown above.

The 8-foot-wide,20-foot-long shelter has tempered-glass panels overhead and along theoutside wall. Since the entry is on the tree-shrouded east side of thehouse, it rarely gets direct sun, and in warmer months the owners turnthe space into a greenhouse by hanging fuchsias and begonias from the4-by-6 rafters. (Drip-irrigation lines and misters run along the bottomof the rafters to water the plants.)To the rear of the same house, Oliver added a simple metal-framed”eyebrow” above a sliding glass door. Made of 1-inch-squaremetal tubing, the welded frame bolts to the wall studs. To reduce theamount of direct sunlight entering a west-facing room, Oliver usedtinted glass for the overhead panels. Narrow aluminum bars and butylcaulking cap the glass.

To prevent the glass from sliding down, the endof each bar was bent to act as a stop.In the other overhead protector pictured on this page, architectHiro Morimoto of Emeryville, California, designed a wood frame thatextends out 43 inches and runs 75 inches across the wall abover asecond-floor bedroom doorway. The clear-fir frame hangs from two 2-by-6ledgers bolted to the wall; marine varnish preserves the warm color ofthe wood. Morimoto used 1/4-inch-thick bronze-tinted acrylic for theglazing material. The owners are Evelyne and David Lennette of Alameda,California.

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