Green Penthouse Loft by Paul Cha Architect

  • Jim Argeropoulos

    I’ve always been intrigued by light shelves and indirect lighting. Yet at the same time I don’t like the “bars” of light from a string of florescent bulbs. How would you make it an even fill light?

    Speaking of light. Could you do a series that would focus on daylighting techniques?

  • John Brown

    Good question. One option is to use a ‘rope light’ which is a string of small light sources encased in a flexible clear plastic tube. They are available in both LED and incandescent versions. We use them quite a bit but the light sources are not very powerful. They are useful for accent lighting more than anything else.

    It is also possible minimize the glare from fluorescent tubes by placing a piece of semi-translucent glass in front of the bulb. Also, the glare becomes less noticeable the further away the tube is placed from the ceiling or wall.
    Good idea about a session on daylighting. I will put it in the lineup for future exercises.

  • Stanley

    Did you notice how the curved wall in the powder room angles the door just slightly away from the dining table? I know it is a minor thing to do but I think it helps to minimize the awkwardness of the bathroom being right beside the dining area.

  • John Brown

    That is a very good observation. It is interesting how much difference even a small detail like this can make isn’t it? The combination of the curved wall with the slightly angled door really help to “mask” the guest bath in such a central location.

  • Architecture Guru

    The design throughout the penthouse is so modern and you can tell that thought was placed into every nook and cranny. Very nice design, I hope that it catches on.

  • Norma Bays

    Nice idea in theory to have a floating counter in the bathroom but not very practical and not attractive to see the drain pipe under the sink. There should have been cabinets under the counter. A small home always needs more storage and it could have used attractive cabinets, possibly “floating” off the floor.

  • Shevaun O’Connor

    I really like the way the kitchen counter seems to extend into the living room at the pass-thru (where the flowers are planted.) I think it gives a feeling of blending to the two rooms, which is nice. Enclosed kitchens make it easy to forget that someone is in there working, and its easy to feel isolated when you are in the kitchen and everyone else is in the living room. That counter makes it hard to “forget” the kitchen is there, and almost invites one to lean on it to chat with whoever is in the kitchen.

  • John Brown


    I agree with you. When I first saw this project I thought it was odd to have a “pass through” into the living room. However, on closer reflection I really like the level of connection between the two spaces – they communicate but are still sufficiently separate to maintain a bit of formality in the living area.

  • Gerard Cadger

    This apartment is a great example of how cultures combine. The Japanese touch of wood and modernist angularities/simplicities are integrated well into a contemporary context. However, whether it be the choice of designer or user, the TV on the wall in the living room is an energy sink. It must be covered with something, anything, to prevent this light and energetic apartment from becoming lethargic. It contrasts strongly with the rest of the unit, technologically and artistically(there is no other art on the walls), thus forming a focal point. Wooden panels as covering would create continuity in relation to the wonderful slats on the kitchen.