15 June, 2009

The Sixth Plane

One skill we learned about in design school that was particularly fascinating to me was the ability to think of a completed space in it's three dimensional form. To be able to visualize the volume of space and the relationships of all the intersecting planes is a gift and a skill. When designing a space we always consider the 'sixth plane' or the ceiling. Often overlooked in a room, or used simply as a vehicle to hold light fixtures, the ceiling represents an opportunity to complete the design of the space and elevate a room from ordinary to extraordinary.
A ceiling can help define areas within a larger room. This can be achieved in a variety of ways through plane changes, lighting effects and or material changes.
The kitchen and living room areas are defined by the sweeping curve created by the plane and material changes of this ceiling. Architect: Stephen Mooney www.stephenjmooney.com
Suspending lower planes over the billiard table and game table in this room in a dark contrasting material defines these areas within the context of a larger space.
The following two photos are good examples of using the ceiling to create  rhythm allowing your eye to move through a space and prevent a long corridor from seeming longer.

Architect: Mark Kawell www.kawell.com
Another way to address the ceiling is to use beams or coffers to create interest, texture, or rhythm.
Architect: Mark Kawell www.kawell.combaker-photos-006
Architect: Bruce Knutson www.knutson-architects.com
We have even upholstered ceilings to create pattern, soften a room and define space.

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