The Lantern Project

Back in January last year when I was starting to put together my wish-list of property improvements this job was right at the top of the list, later to be pushed down again and again by more immediate concerns, but the long enforced lockdown period has allowed me to catch up with my chores again, and spend a little time on the projects that really excite me.

At the head of the main staircase is this large, bright ceiling lantern over a hall which joins the Tower suite to the rest of the house that we call ‘The Bridge’. While it lets lots of light in, it can also be very cold, so I hatched a plan to build an authentic Edwardian suspended glass ceiling, which would spread and diffuse the light while double-glazing the lantern.

The tricky part was getting the frame to hold the weight of itself and the glass safely without any fixings. I built myself several small models of the joints until I figured out the best way to hold it together. There are no nails, screws, glues or dowels anywhere in this frame and all the solid wood components simply lock into each other to form a frame I can swing from. It’s very old-school engineering.

The second consideration is that the visible parts of the frame need to look as narrow as possible with sides that catch and bounce light into the room below, defusing the light and knocking out the shadows.

It took me a while but I’m happy with the result, finishing it off with tinted and frosted glass panels. If you’re struggling with a similar project feel free to get in touch.

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