Archives January 2021


Anyone who dreams of their own home, first of all, wants to see the project of an aesthetically attractive home. The easiest way to make your home spacious and sophisticated at the same time is to create a house project with a second light. What is a second light in a home project? Should I provide for it?

The absence of overlapping between floors does not always mean that the project includes a staircase. If in the project the interfloor overlap covers about half of the area of ​​the first floor, this means that the house has a room with a second light.

In all house projects, a room with a second light is illuminated through windows located on the first and second floor levels. The concept of “second light” means the presence of windows of an additional upper tier in the same room. Double-height spaces are distinguished not only by high ceilings. They have much more natural light and air.

Variants of using a double-height room in projects are limited by the function of a common room. Any ceremonial hall plays such a role, for example, a living room, a dining room, a library.

History of second light technology

A double-height space is a long-familiar architectural and planning technique in residential building projects. Its prototype is considered to be an atrium in an antique residential building, and the time of its appearance can be traced back to the period when, during the era of the Roman Empire, they learned to make glazed windows. They were used for glazing the ceiling (and not the walls of the second tier, as in our time) to illuminate the front room from above.

In the Middle Ages (VI-XII centuries), with the appearance of colored stained-glass windows, not only the second light, but also the third one appeared in the dwellings. The premises became so high that they had a platform at the top for holding knightly tournaments during unfavorable weather conditions. But halls with a lot of natural light were only in the palaces of nobles and aristocrats.

In the era of Gothic architecture (XII-XIV century), the technology of the second light reached its climax. Building technologies now made it possible to erect high floors through the use of columns with buttresses – additional supports. The space between the windows was filled with colored stained-glass windows on religious themes. The architects made natural light colored, and the space became extremely bright and delicate. Only the wealthiest people in the city could afford such housing.

The classical period (XII-XIV century) proved to be the most suitable for the use of the second light. At this time, thanks to the variety of design possibilities, various options for its use began to appear – in a suite, in a space with the use of stairs and mezzanines of the upper tiers, for improved illumination of round halls and rooms. From that moment on, the architecture of the double-height rooms was constantly supplemented and complicated.

Pros and cons of second light


  • High ceilings that everyone who lives in standard apartments wants to have.
  • The lighting system incorporated in the project, which will allow large quantities of sunlight to enter the room. This will be especially appreciated by those who are used to living in an apartment with windows on one side.
  • An opportunity to create a project with interesting architectural forms, original design, attractive artificial lighting.
  • Possibility to complete a project with an unusual facade architecture.


  • Loss of usable area. But if the issue of a deficit of usable area is not worth it, then this drawback in the project can be disregarded.
  • The need to develop a special heating system in the project – floor heating, thermal insulation of the ceiling and walls, non-standard placement of radiators.
  • Household difficulties associated with the maintenance of a high room (the need to wash high windows and lighting fixtures, difficulties in placing textile decor on the windows).
  • Large expenses for arrangement and maintenance.


The second light is a way available to many to make their home not only large and spacious, but also luxurious, similar to a palace from the past. This is a sign of the material well-being of the owners. It doesn’t matter which design you choose – aristocratic medieval or chic classic, ultra-modern high-tech or cozy chalet – this architectural technique will help to create an atmosphere of grandeur.

Twelve-storey wooden house made of CLT panels Valckensteyn

The Rotterdam architecture firm Powerhouse Company has unveiled Valckensteyn, an eco-friendly home that will be Holland’s largest wooden residential building. The project was developed by order of the Woonstad Rotterdam corporation.

Valckensteyn is a 12-storey building 40 meters high. The main material of all floors, except for the first one, will be multilayer glued wood panels. No glue will be used to connect them. This will allow the house to be dismantled if necessary and reassembled elsewhere.

The construction is supposed to be erected in the Rotterdam district of Pedrecht, on a site where a residential complex was previously located. The foundations left over from a building demolished ten years ago will form the basis for Valckensteyn.

It was possible to adapt the old supporting structure for the installation of a twelve-storey building due to the relatively small mass of wood panels. This will reduce not only the cost of finance and time, but also the volume of greenhouse gas emissions accompanying the construction.

The stability of the new house will be ensured by the first floor and the central core made of concrete. The lobby of the building will be faced with travertine, a rock that used to be often used to decorate buildings in the area. According to the architects’ plan, the ground floor of Valckensteyn will house a large, cozy living room “the most beautiful bicycle parking place in Rotterdam”.

“Woonstad Rotterdam as part of the Valckensteyn project has set itself the goal of creating affordable, sustainable housing for middle-income families,” explains Robbert Greneweld, Senior Project Manager. “Woonstad’s commitment to timber construction has been translated into a design that combines sustainability, living comfort and unity with nature.”

Each of the 82 apartments in the house will receive floor-to-ceiling windows and a west-facing loggia. The landscape around the building, designed by LAP Landscape & Urban Design, offers a wide variety of vegetation. The residential complex’s car park, which will look like a living green carpet, will be lined with cement-free paving stones and equipped with a water filtration system.

Construction on the Valckensteyn home is expected to begin in January 2022.