Spiral Arc House Ladder Window - CODAworx

Spiral Arc House Ladder Window

Submitted by Doreen Balabanoff

Client: SReid/DBalabanoff

Location: Bayfield, Ontario, Canada

Completion date: 2011

Project Team


Doreen Balabanoff


Stuart Reid


The window is composed of 12 panes of mouthblown glass and is situated at the entry which faces due South. The central stair is directly aligned with it on the North/South axis. The light projection moves into and across the architectural surfaces and spaces from dawn to sunset. The daily and yearly cycles of the sun are brought ino vivid focus, along with the rich variation brought by shifts in weather, seasonal landscape colour and even lunar light cycles.


The artwork was conceived as part of the architecture - the building was designed by my partner Stuart Reid and myself. Spiral Arc house is named for its geometric foundation - a serie of three arcs based on related equilateral triangle that create the gently spiralling south facade. The passive solar house responds to the sun's passage around it throughout the day.


As joint artists/designers we were seeking to maximize this opportunity to integrate our artwork into architecture - following the architectural dream of creating 'the total work of art'. The house is sculptural as well as spatially conceived of as deeply connected to earth and sky. The house overlooks Lake Huron, and the curved window wall facing west offers a powerful panoramic experience. The front door has two large vertical artworks surrounding it - the second one, not seen in the Ladder Window shots, is by Stuart Reid and is a white translucent sail-like window which adds its own honey-coloured light to the ambient light play.

Additional Information

The artwork windows are part of a two-storey space and hence are visible from many places within the house. The ladder window colour also projects through the doorway in the white wall, and enters the corridor to the sleeping spaces. When sunlight is indirect the colour is very subtle, but occurs in sensitive coloured shadows and soft glows across surfaces...