Design Detail: An Architect Explains His Use of Slotted Cutouts (7 photos)

Photos by Paul Crosby

House at a Glance
Location: Chicago
Jeffrey L. Day of Actual Architecture

Project. “The brief was to upgrade an existing spec house with new furniture, artwork, millwork, lighting and other interior finishes in order to transform the home without altering it structurally, or changing plumbing locations in any significant way,” Day says. “The work extended over four floors and included new finishes and guardrails at exterior roof decks, sunken gardens, as well complete transformations of all interior spaces and surfaces.”

Architectural detail. An elongated hex-like cutout. “The detail is a slot cut from solid white oak wood paneling used throughout the house in different ways,” Day says. “Emerging from the reveal-joint between unique boards, the holes or slots have a double S-curve at the ends that allows the gap to widen to the width of a single board, but cut from two adjacent boards so as to maintain the integrity of the paneling.”


In the kitchen, a pattern of slots appears above the cabinets and is backlit by cove lighting for ambiance.

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