HOUSTON - Houses are usually built for the people living inside them, but one developer is putting up homes that light up the night sky for folks who are outside the home.
In the heart of Houston' Museum district, is The Art Colony. It’s a small development of nine sleek, modern homes along and near Chenevert Street. They are designed around light; natural and artificial.
From the rooftop terrace, Dreamscape Modern designer Michael Wiglesworth points to the downtown skyline, explaining, “You see the city. It lights up and you're sandwiched between the city and you see the Med Center there.”
When the sun goes down, a westward facing corrugated aluminum screen which blocks the sun by day, becomes an LED light show screen by night. It stretches across three homes, spanning 3,000 square feet. At the bottom of the screen, there is just a single 20 foot strip of LED lights.
“We bounce them off the corrugation," said Wiglesworth. "Each ridge will bounce the light up and up and up and at the top we put a Mylar mirror and it bounces the light back.”
It makes the lighting device remarkably efficient and the bulbs supposedly last 12 years.
On the driveway are more LED lights. These are encased in glass chips and resin, striped horizontally across the pavement.
Wiglesworth, a former Madison Avenue advertising executive said, “Some people call it the ‘wow factor’.” He wants to make an architectural statement.
The three story, 3400 square foot homes sell for just under a million dollars each. They are listed by Nan and Company properties Nan and Company Properties. They cater to those interested in their private residences, becoming public art.
“I want to be an exhibitionist," said Wiglesworth. “If you’re not that type of person, buy a cookie cutter house.”
Every swanky house worth its salt has a picture window. This one included, except this isn't for the people inside the home it’s for the people outside.
The six foot by six foot first floor window becomes a mini theater, thanks to a floor projector which uses the wall behind it as a screen. The system can play anything from full length films to short clips. Pedestrians and motorists stop to watch.
“We want to show people how art affects architecture," said Wiglesworth.
The light shows which can be programmed to music, come on at dusk and turn off at 10:30 p.m.
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