Recently I discovered this image from a ceiling dome we had faux finished years ago at a Silicon Valley Manor project. If you look at your ceiling and see a round opening of the Sky it is an Oculus, or at least you hope so when it is Faux.
Below are some examples of what we at Jerry Jacobs Design have tried to do in our Architecture and Interior Design work with the Oculus as an inspiration.
When you have a wall that needs a window, but you can’t do a window (for one of many reasons), an option is a Trompe-l’œil window: a faux Oculus in this case. We asked the owners our clients first, if we could open a round window, above the main entrance. They said NO, you know construction, dust, so we proposed an alternative they loved. Sorry no natural light in this case. At “Casa del Alamo” Foyer. Alamo, California. Art by Villafranca Studio, San Francisco.
We created a street entrance at Casa de Gobierno, an Hacienda style Villa on the Beach for a Country star. In this case we incorporated a true Oculus to accentuate the entrance. The Camel hump is always an excellent shape to lighten by introducing a circle opening. On the Beach, Cancun, Mexico.
There was a window inside a closet, so when we converted the closet into a wet bar open at a corner we did a porthole in the cabinetry, creating an Oculus in the wine storage section. It did not waste the odd shape window that was there and brought natural light to the Bar. At Buena Vista Park, Penthouse, San Francisco, California.
It the Atrium’s vaulted ceiling we created 2 Oculus to let light in They are oval though.
At the Hall of Mirrors Bath, we really didn’t need any light. However, after doing the wall to wall mirrors we added an Oculus mirror frame. Whether you go through the Oculus or the main mirror, infinity is not that far away. Hellman Residence, Pacific Heights, San Francisco, California.
Because at the Polanco pied-à-terre we couldn’t have used an Oculus in the ceiling, due to another apartment above, consequently we did a cupola. The bottom round opening is Oculus-like. While the Pendant light too is round and has a central open core, or eye more of an Oculus.
We discovered the Oculus pair buried in the roof openings at Villa “T”. Consequently we enhanced them with frosted glass on top and Gold wallpaper on their interior sides, then a Faux tile molding was added by Carlo Marchiori who also did the mural on left. Painting on right by Claus Eben.
Portholes are simply round windows. Almost always “Holes” they are meant to be small. See portholes in the store below at the top left side.
I started a series of small portholes with NO LIGHT in them, (not true Oculus), but here is the example anyway. They became my in store signature-decor at for the 200+ ACA JOE stores. In the case below when the Brand’s logo became round the pair matched the eyes.
While I included my pair of Portholes on the curved soffits over the dressing rooms, as Joe had asked me for a Gray color as in military ships or so. Looking at my curved soffit I said why not add two portholes. I add portholes and round windows when I can, also makes sense sometimes.
ACA Joe stores 1980-2000, the 250 or so we designed had a pair of Port-holes as part of the soffit, the “Gray Ship coming into port”
This 28″ “Air Float” travel trailer from 1949 at the Tiburon Concourse Auto show 2017, shows the Art Deco inspired portholes.
Round windows are a surprising and dynamic element that takes the room away from the traditional and predictable decor into a soft fluid area where round shapes are contributing to the diversity among the windows of the house. http://www.decoist.com/round-window-designs
Two examples of Non-Round Oculus. They are in this case beautiful and strategic natural lighting sources, however not the Classic round Oculus.
Look at tunnels to the Sky or Italy’s hidden Courtyards. In this case it is the same as the Pantheon, though different shape size and times, but so classically beautiful that I couldn’t resist including. These beautiful photographs by Seth Vane show another type of Oculus, or Eyes of light from the Sky. In addition to the photographs being beautiful, it is an inspiration. I have always maintained that Oculus are round, and that they are like eyes, and I haven’t seen any square eyes, yet some other descriptions are worth while looking at. To see the set of photographs by Seth Vane click on the link below the photo above.
Santiago Calatrava (Star Architect Switzerland). WTC transportation hub, would be by far the most recent and largest Oculus. It is not Round, nor an eye. It is a skylight, yes with eye-lids on top. Eyes our round.
Links and Sources.