Easily control the ventilation, lighting, and shading of your connected skylight with a user-friendly app, wall switches, or smart home systems like Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Samsung SmartThings.
On the surface, Marvin Skycove™ and Marvin Awaken™ Skylight may look like your standard window seat and skylight,
but innovations from Marvin—the family-owned window and door manufacturer with more than 100 years of experience—take these two pieces beyond the conventional to contribute to happier, healthier lives. Skycove is a glass structure that projects from a building into the open air, adding up to 20 square feet of usable space. Awaken is a smart skylight equipped with tunable lighting and a first-of-its-kind venting system, with sensors that automatically shut the unit when they detect rain, and that send an alert when changes in VOCs are detected. Christine Marvin, vice president of strategy and design, helps us better understand these products and the company behind them.
Skycove is a projected glass structure that creates a smart extension of up to 20 square feet of valuable space without extending a home’s footprint. Whether located in a bustling living area, or placed in intimate rooms like bedrooms and dens, Skycove can be your favorite retreat.
Marvin’s two new products are feats of innovation.
Yes, Skycove is a fully constructed alcove with glass on all three sides and the top, so you can fully immerse yourself in light and views and feel connected to the outside world. It’s the first of its kind in the U.S. building industry—fully constructed, with no need to custom order, and suitable for a wide range of projects. Awaken, an automated and customizable smart skylight, is the first on the market to offer supplemental lighting. It combines natural light from above with built-in LEDs that mimic natural light by matching the color, temperature, and intensity of sunlight at various times of the day. It can be programmed to provide extended daylight during short winter days or to awaken early risers each morning. Another advancement is its unique venting system. Most skylights vent on a hinge, but Awaken’s projection venting protrudes from the roof evenly on all four sides, improving indoor air quality more efficiently. It can be controlled via our app, a magnetic and removable Bluetooth-enabled wall switch, or voice command through smart-home systems like Alexa.
For forward-thinking architects, interior designers, homeowners, and builders, Marvin Awaken and Skycove create a space for air, light, views, and comfort.
How did they come to be?
We conducted extensive research that revealed homeowners are seeking smaller, cozier spaces filled with natural light, like reading corners where they can recharge and escape from stress. This seemed to fit under the theme of well-being, so we dove deeper to figure out how we, as a window and door company, could help people live happier and healthier in their homes. We interviewed sleep scientists, light designers, and even astronauts, who helped us understand light’s vital role in supporting our daily rhythms.
What were the biggest challenges the Marvin design and engineering teams faced during research and development?
It was important to us that Skycove provide an alternative to custom-order options, which can be time-intensive and expensive. The challenge was in developing something revolutionary yet straight-forward and easy for builders to install. For Awaken, the task was developing an intuitive digital inter- face that wouldn’t feel overwhelming. It was also a challenge to reimagine the hardware. For example, traditional skylights are hinged on one side, and when open, block the view to the sky. Our design allows for more air circulation and leaves the view unobstructed. What looks simple is actually quite complex behind the scenes.
Built on a foundation of 100 years of experience and expertise, Awaken (left) and Skycove (right) are fully constructed in the factory where critical tolerances can be controlled, which is why Marvin stands behind them with a 10-year product warranty.
These products are just rolling out to dealers across the United States. Have any been installed in homes yet?
Yes. One recent install of Skycove was in Minneapolis, for architect Michael Anschel’s personal home. It’s an interesting story: The Skycove was installed on the second floor, looking out to a 240-year-old Eastern white pine, the tallest tree in Minneapolis. From inside the Skycove, you can look up and see more tree—it’s like the coolest tree house you could ever imagine.
“Ultimately, what we discovered was this incredibly transformative object that is completely immersive.”
—Michael Anschel, architect
Marvin is an established vanguard in the industry. What are the keys to Marvin’s consistent brand innovation?
People have always been at the center of Marvin’s purpose and values. Second, the Marvin Design Lab, our in-house team of designers, engineers, architects, researchers, and industry pros, uses human-centered approaches to innovation, dedicating 100 percent of their time to understanding emerging ways of living and design—how architects design, builders build, and homeowners want to live. We focus on discovery and concepting around harnessing light, air, and view in new ways for better living.
Founded in 1912, Marvin has always been driven by imagining better ways of living. Has the pandemic changed the company’s notion of what that means today?
Home is becoming more of a refuge, and after our time spent indoors over the past year, we want to feel safer, happier, and healthier. Our Design Lab team continues to explore what helps homeowners live better.
Learn more at marvin.com
WATCH: Architect Michael Anschel of OA Design + Build discusses the renovation of his own home, featuring the largest tree in Minneapolis.