There are two main reasons why boat windows are round. They are easier to seal and, above all, more resistant to the high pressure that water exerts on them. This is because living corners are places where tensions are naturally concentrated, weakening the structure as a whole. This is also why aircraft windows are small and round; high pressures are better distributed in curved shapes, reducing the likelihood of cracks or breaks.
In architecture, circular openings are quite old. The Oculus, a type of circular window, has been a feature of classical architecture since the 16th century. Also known by the French expression oeil de boeuf (bull's eye), circular or semi-circular openings are formed from the construction of masonry arches, which allow for the creation of openings only by locking the constitutive pieces. Over time and following the incorporation of new technologies and development of construction knowledge, creating rectangular openings in buildings has become easier, more efficient, and cheaper than creating round ones. However, these circular windows still continue to figure in a multitude of projects.
"And a window that looks out on Corcovado. Oh, how lovely." Tom Jobim's lyrics, immortalized by João Gilberto and Astrud Gilberto's voices and a soft guitar, was one of the early songs that introduced the world to the idea of a paradisaical Rio de Janeiro and a promising Brazil, with an increasingly urban population and a modern capital being built from nothing. Almost 60 years later, Paulo Mendes da Rocha casually quotes this song in an interview and points out that for him, in this scene, the most important element is the window, not Corcovado or Christ the Redeemer. That's because it frames the view and directs our eyes to what matters. It is a phrase that goes almost unnoticed, but that carries enormous poetic and artistic significance to the craft of architecture.
Wood is a material naturally associated with beauty, versatility, and comfort and is used in many different ways in architecture, from flooring to roofing. These qualities also stand out when used in window frames.
The window is the architectural element that satisfies our innate need to relate to the outside space, providing us with ventilation and light. The more extensive and clean the window is, the greater the sensation of "being outside". Consequently, opening up spaces to the outside has become a common requirement for people who want and need to inhabit flexible, adaptable spaces, in contact with the air and nature. There are many ways to do this, but not all of them allow an airtight enclosure to become fully open and continuous, clearing the boundaries between both spaces.
When a material runs its course and becomes obsolete, whether because of wear and tear, a change of style, a tear-down, or a remodel, many are tempted to simply toss it into a scrap heap and send it to the landfill. In the grand majority of cases, however, these materials can be repaired, recycled, and reused in a vast array of creative endeavors. Of course, depending on the material and its characteristics, this can also present a challenge. In the case of windows and doors, particular care must be taken to keep them intact throughout the dismantling or demolition process and even afterwards, an inspection may be necessary to determine their viability for future use. Of course, many avoid the path of re-utilization altogether and opt for new materials that make for an easier and more uniform project.
Malibu Crest, a 2019 remodeling of a 1949 International Style home, was a vital undertaking by the architecture firm Studio Bracket that aimed to expand the structure’s square footage and panoramic views of Malibu while retaining over 50% of the home’s original walls. The project was ultimately successful, not only in its refurbishment of the interior rooms and reconfiguration of the space, but in its enlargement of the windows to truly capture views of the surrounding lagoon and mountains. This expansion of the view was done in part through an open corner window scheme and floor-to-ceiling glass, manufactured by Western Window Systems. The uninterrupted glass walls afforded by this open corner technology is one of the most effective ways that architects can open an interior space to the stunning vistas of a natural environment. Yet an even more striking configuration increasingly being employed by residential architects is that of the open corner sliding glass door – a system that can even more completely open an interior space to the unobstructed outdoors. Below, we discuss this technology in more detail, alongside several examples of projects using the open corner glass door.
We spoke with Beat Guhl, CEO of Sky-Frame, during the Swiss Bau fair – one of the largest events in the materials industry. Sky-Frame produces frameless sliding window systems; vital components to achieve an effective and efficient transparency in architectural projects. The company is constantly pushing for technical innovation and works closely with architects to help achieve fluid spatial concepts.
After centuries of using wood for the development of window and door carpentry, the Rationalism of the 20th century began to adopt a new material for these purposes: steel. Driven by industrial production, and promoted by architects such as Adolf Loos, Mies van der Rohe, and Le Corbusier, steel was evolving to generate increasingly thin and resistant frames. However, efficient and low-cost materials, such as aluminum and PVC, gradually began to replace its widespread use, increasing the size of the frames and losing steel's "clean" aesthetic when applied to a growing architecture of large glass paneled facades.
At present, new technologies have refined their production processes, developing minimal profiles of high rigidity and precision, which take full advantage of the transparency of the glass and deliver new comfort and safety features. We talked with Jansen's experts to deepen our understanding of their application in contemporary architecture.
Another year, another crop of homes featuring fresh, contemporary architecture, striking décor, and seamless transitions between inside and outside spaces. Peruse our picks below to find the inspiration you need to make indoor-outdoor living part of your next home design.
Glass is so present in our lives that it’s very difficult to think about the amount of work, experimentation and technologies behind each panel or glass object. It’s also impossible to separate innovations from modern architectural projects –from architects such as Mies Van der Rohe and Le Corbusier– from the advances of the glass industry.
We’re following the history of glass, from Mesopotamian artifacts to technological glasses, and we invite you to travel with us.
Although all windows have common functions such as allowing the passage of light, providing ventilation, and focusing the different views, these objectives can be enhanced through a series of useful options. Depending on the orientation of the building, climatic conditions, direction of the wind, and architectural point of view, each specific window model can make a difference within a project, improving usability and the spatial and environmental quality of each room.
Below, we present types of windows that can be found in today's homes, specifically in 11 projects previously published on our site.
Architects are increasingly aware of our influence on the well-being and good health of the users of our projects. Natural lighting –and how it should be complemented with artificial lighting– is an essential factor to consider for the visual comfort of interior spaces. But, do we know how to handle it correctly?
In the spirit of supporting our readers’ design work, the company Velux has shared a series of .DWG files with us of their different roofing windows models. The files can be downloaded directly from this article and include great amounts of detail and information.
Check the files below, separated into 'Pitched Roofs', 'Flat Roofs' and 'Light Tube'.
Buying “the perfect computer” comes with equal parts indecision and excitement—we put in hours of research, weigh brands, compare specs, read product reviews, and ask around for advice and suggestions. For the uninitiated, it often means wading through lots of technical jargon. i7? Intel? SSD? Quad-core? For others, it may mean being spoilt for choice and finding it difficult to shortlist options. Architect, writer, and entrepreneur Eric Reinholdt’s latest video on his YouTube channel 30X40 Design Workshop tackles the tricky subject of choosing the right computer for architecture, breaking the topic down into 6 simple steps.
https://www.archdaily.com/880396/which-computer-is-the-best-for-architects-and-architecture-studentsZoya Gul Hasan
As an architect, Frank Lloyd Wright was known for many things, but perhaps his most famed characteristic was his exceptional attention to detail – in many of his projects, each furniture piece was designed specifically for its intended location. This trait carried over into the design of the windows in his houses. Borrowing from organic motifs, Wright created a series of compositions suited for each house, from the tall, triangular stained glass windows of the Hollyhock House to the mahogany Samara clerestory panels of the Bachman-Wilson House.
Some of the most integral parts of a building are related to light and air. Windows, for example, can help transform a project into a more liveable or better space, providing natural light or connecting the building’s users with their surroundings.
From windows inserted into historic structures, to windows meant to give the building a distinct, landmark look, these nine projects utilize windows as a primary feature. View the nine creative uses of windows after the break.
“Imagine feeling relaxed in your own private space but getting all the natural light from above your head. Imagine being warm and dry while looking at the raindrops falling on your head. Imagine resting on the windowsill, having a cup of tea while looking at people walk by on the street. Imagine having a small place to meditate, where the view is unique and temporary, and it is only used for that purpose, and then you can put it away. That is what More Sky is about.”
With the parameters of Brooklyn’s construction and regulations in mind, architect Aldana Ferrer Garcia has created a series of windows called "More Sky" for her Masters of Industrial Design thesis project at Pratt Institute. Using existing window mechanisms, More Sky seeks to promote a healthier and happier home life by connecting users with the outdoors and offering a glimpse of the sky from a different viewpoint.