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Transparent Home Designed for Healthier, Happier Lifestyle

Transparent Home Designed for Healthier, Happier Lifestyle
Design & Architecture

The all-glass structure can bring in ample sunlight but also a wealth of healthy side-effects

Janet Burns
  • 4 december 2014

Sadly, the joyous effects of a typical sunny, relaxing two-week paid vacation are often short lived. However, a team of scientists and glaziers is determined to bring to the market a product that can offer the health benefits of a sun-kissed lifestyle year round – and in the form of a (slightly sci-fi) glass bungalow.

The Photon Space is the result of years of glazing expertise and scientific study, the team explains, meant to address health and lifestyle issues such as stress, difficulty sleeping, low energy and productivity, jet lag, and lowered libido. The space itself is a tech-enabled, all-glass “fully equipped luxury suite,” with on-demand glass tinting controlled via smartphone (for when privacy is required) and accommodations for regulating temperature. Presented by a mostly family-run group with backgrounds in architecture, architectural glazing, and entrepreneurship, the greater Photon Project represents a collaborative effort to provide healthful, light-filled structures and spread the word on light’s health benefits.

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The scientific basis for the project’s claims and goals come in major part from Russell Foster, professor of circadian neuroscience at Oxford’s Brasenose College. His research group’s noted work areas span visual and circadian neurobiology with a focus on the “mechanisms whereby light regulates vertebrate circadian rhythms,” and include the discovery of non-rod, non-cone, photosensitive ganglion cells, which provide input to circadian systems in mammalian retinae.

For those concerned about the risks of skin damage, inefficiency, and proverbial or literal stone-throwing, the Photon team claims to have it covered: unlike more common glass, the panels included in Photon Spaces are double-glazed and “combine a range of the latest technologies available to produce an extremely high performance for: insulation (0.6 W/m2k); solar gain (63% of solar radiation blocked); UV transmittance (99.9% UV blocked) and sound levels (85% of external sound blocked).”

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As the project’s site explains, the Photon Space was initially conceived for use in luxury resorts, spas, and health centers. However, the company has also initiated a second phase for the project, and is looking to develop and commercialize full-scale glass houses within the next several years. In this vein, the team has launched a fully operational and tested cabin in the UK via CrowdCube, a platform by Crowdcube Ventures Limited for “sufficiently sophisticated” investors.

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Beyond this, the group’s next planned step is to further develop and test the science behind their claims, as well as on a larger scale. Their goal, the site explains, is to build a number of “Photon Communities” across the globe in which to conduct light-related studies led by Foster’s Oxford team. These communities will consist of a number of all-glass Photon Pod structures, where the researchers hope to “compile invaluable and important data on how light can help us to live more healthily, from providing natural healing to preventing disease, to aiding concentration, balance and harmony.”

The Photon Project

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