Glazing Vision & Dixon: Giving Access to Some of the Best Views in the World

In the New York metro area, limited outdoor space is overwhelmingly the norm. A growing partnership with Glazing Vision is helping Dixon Projects challenge the status-quo by creating ultra-desirable amenity for residents, adding significant value to homes and granting coveted access to skyline views one roof at a time. 

Glazing Vision's design ethos is "minimize framework, maximize daylight," so each sleek product delivers a direct line of sight to the sky above and is made with as few obstructions as possible. Their free-standing box rooflight model — "a glass box on the roof" — features glazing on all sides and is affixed over the stairwell at the base. The three-wall skybox, meanwhile, is meant to be attached on three sides to the building itself. Both types of box rooflights retract with the touch of a button, allowing residents to easily emerge onto the roof deck without the hassle of crouching while both hands are full of hors d'oeuvres and drinks for guests.

Where even more discreet roof deck access is required, Glazing Vision's hinged skydoor rooflight provides another automatic opening option that's nearly flush to the roof. Because the skydoor product can be installed in either direction, it's more adaptable than the skyboxes and the costs are lower.

Constructed in durable powder-coated aluminum and glass with a hidden ultra-smooth rack-and-pinion drive system, skyboxes are both elegant and intuitive. Electronics are safely tucked into a waterproof housing offering easy access for service or repair. Helpful rain sensors automatically close the boxes when moisture is detected, and proximity sensors prevent units from closing when a person or pet is in the way. All units are thoroughly water and wind tested to ensure absolute protection from these elements.

U.K.-based Glazing Vision began in 1993 when founder Hugh Callacher began specializing in architectural glazing restoration and refurbishments out of his Norfolk garage. By the late 1990s, the growing firm had manufactured and installed their first sliding rooflight, which led to the creation of the box and hinged designs in the following decades. Today, the firm operates a state-of-the-art, 65,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in England with dedicated U.S. sales and warehouse capabilities.

original garage

The relationship with Glazing Vision began when Dixon reached out to the firm looking for a low-profile solution that would deliver roof access to a beautiful home within Harlem's Jumel Terrace Historic District. In order to present a cohesive, period-appropriate blockfront, historic districts throughout the city typically frown on rooftop additions that are visible from the street, and the Jumel Terrace project on West 162nd Street was particularly dicey. Construction at the property was underway and Dixon was seeking Landmarks Preservation Commission approval to add roof access. Plans were originally drawn and submitted with a standard bulkhead, but at a community board meeting, pushback against the visible bulkhead design was strong.