While the clerestory has really come to mean any window place high up — say, above eye level — in a wall, it was originally a set of windows positioned above the roof of the amount beneath. Think of the interior of a Gothic church; the windows above the primary floor are put from the clerestory, derived from combining the words “transparent”and”story”

The clerestory this is the distance between the reduced ceiling of the kitchen area and the higher ceiling of the primary living space. A clerestory is typically full of windows to allow light into the interior while offering views and privacy of treetops and sky.

By dividing the upper and lower ceiling planes with transparency and light, the clerestory here apparently makes the upper ceiling float. The effect is particularly pronounced when the clerestory windows are designed to be out of sight.

Nick Noyes Architecture

Clerestory windows put directly below the eaves of a roof may also make the roof seem to float and hover above the walls. This visual impact of defying gravity is the reason clerestories have been used so much in spiritual buildings, where a lightness and reaching up to the heavens is a driving force of the plan.

Bud Dietrich, AIA

Clerestory windows are for contemporary styling. In reality, placing a window or clerestory windows up high in a wall can offer extra light and a view regardless of what style the house is. Typically in more traditional styles, the windows are less ribbons of glass and more individual windows.

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