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The power of the circle

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A window inspired by the Flower of Life. Photo: Bruce Murray, VisionFire Studios

A window inspired by the Flower of Life. Photo: Bruce Murray, VisionFire Studios

A window inspired by the Flower of Life brings positive energy into a South End Halifax reno

A circle. A simple curved line in an endless loop, the foundational shape of life.

Stained glass window artist Lynette Richards sees the circle as primal, featuring it prominently in her work.

When she was engaged to create a circular window for Halifax couple Linda and Karl in Halifax, Nova Scotia, she took her time and moved though conversations with the homeowners and the designer before reaching the concept, which has become the energy centre of the house and one of the most important architectural elements of an ongoing reno.

Richards works predominately in stained glass, but it was evident that colour in the window would overpower the space. It was designed so it could compliment the homeowners’ art collection. The window couldn’t compete, but it had to stand alone as a celebration of light and art.

The irony that so much attention has gone into a — window that was not even part of the original renovation plan — is not lost on Linda. But she knew that as the reno evolved, there was something very important that was missing in the space. The living room wall had been designed to create a little privacy for the couple and their neighbours. The lots are generous on the South End street, but Linda wanted to be respectful. Her solution was to create a window that would subtly obstruct the view but allow for the movement of light throughout the day.

Circles and gentle arcs were already an influence in the house design, so a circular window was a natural extension of the fluidity that Linda and designer Jessica Skinner of Lovely Nova Design created in the floor plan.

“The Flower of Life is sacred geometry,” says Linda, sitting at her kitchen island while several busy trades people buzz around working on some of the final elements of the overall renovation. “I love the spiritual side of design and the window is part of this.”

About 300 individual pieces comprise the window that Lynette Richards cut and fused together in her Terence Bay, N.S. studio. All three women embraced the idea of a representation of the Flower of Life in the design, a symbol for everything in existence. The overlapping and repeating circles a reminder that all life and consciousness arises from one source.

“It’s a concept that just resonated with Linda’s entire philosophy for this renovation,” says Jessica, who specializes in the infusion of historical and industrial design.

The window also relates to another element in the room, a door threshold that was salvaged from a house designed by Andrew Cobb — one of Nova Scotia’s most influential architects. The glazing in the side lights of the door is glue chip glass, a method of glass making that is hundreds of years old. Richards was able to replicate the glazing pattern in a multitude of the flower pieces.

This was an important part of the design. “The application on the glazing was harmonizing and gives coherence to the space,” explains Richards.

Linda believes that the circle is a grounding presence.

“When people enter my home, I just want them to come in and leave whatever it is that they carry with them outside,” she adds.

Crystal Murray

East Coast Living