How do you light a kitchen dug into the rock, on a hillside?

Back in Touraine, their home region, Annie and Jean-Jacques set their sights on a troglodyte house. Typical of the Loire Valley, this type of habitat has many constraints in terms of light. In Annie and Jean-Jacques’ house, the back of the kitchen is dug into the hillside and remains dark all day long.

Discover how Annie and Jean-Jacques have gained natural light in their kitchen which is dug into the rock of the hillside.

le type d'habitat dans le val de loire sont les maisons troglodytes
The Loire Valley in Touraine
  • Owners : Annie and Jean-Jacques
  • Type of housing : Hillside troglodyte house
  • City : Village close to Tours
  • Opening : Window
  • Rooms : Kitchen
  • Model Espaciel installed : Window Reflector


The bottom of the kitchen is dug into the rock that has been excavated to create extra volume. This type of partially troglodyte house is very common in Touraine, on the Loire hillside. The extension of Annie and Jean-Jacques’ kitchen allows the installation of a work surface and the usual kitchen accessories: oven, dishwasher, storage space…

Light enters through a window on the side of the kitchen into the masonry part of the room. The light does not reach all the way to the back of the kitchen where the worktop and equipment are located.

la fenêtre de la cuisine de la maison troglodyte avec le réflecteur fenêtre
The kitchen window and the foot of the cliff (on the left of the picture)


Placed on the window under the sky, the Espaciel Reflector receives light from the sky and transmits it deep into the room. Even without sunlight, in grey weather, the outside luminosity is +/- 1000 lux. This is much more than the 50 lux that is the minimum natural light required in a home. The Espaciel Reflector makes it possible to make the most of this potential, despite the constraints of a troglodyte house and the proximity of the cliff of the Loire hillside.

réflecteur fenêtre installé devant la fenêtre la cuisine pour permettre de capter la lumière du ciel et la rediriger à l'intérieur
The Espaciel Window Reflector with its green colored trim


Ambient light bounces off the Window Reflector and enters the kitchen. This increases the light input by +/- 50%. The natural light from the Espaciel Reflector is reflected off the ceiling which serves as a diffuser. The interior luminosity is thus amplified to the bottom of the living room.

Convinced by this first experience, Annie and Jacques decided to equip themselves with a second Espaciel Reflector, the Garden Reflector to light the living room’s bay window.

effet du réflecteur de lumière dans la maison troglodyte apport en lumière naturelle avec une pièce plus lumineuse
Effect of the Reflector Window in Annie and Jean-Jacques’ Kitchen

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