Mac or PC? I dread the criticism from this comparison, but hear me out because there are people on Mac OS who are probably just not aware of what Windows has to offer. In the spirit of being “Frank”, and like more than 99 percent of the architecture world, I am primarily a Windows user so I will frame this blog as an argument why us designers all use Windows.
Historically, windows were considered any kind of opening in the exterior wall which architecturally establishes the personality and character of a building much like our eyes, nose and mouth play a large role in our personal appearance. But as simple as it sounds, these openings were created to allow natural light into a building, permit sight and control air flow through walls.
There is no denying that designers of the 21st century love to incorporate glass as a building material. So now that we placed glass in these primitive wall openings, we have created skyscrapers with shimmering reflective surfaces mirroring the sky, windows that prevent unwanted air, water, snow & wildlife, windows that bring soft, natural light, windows that frame spectacular views, windows that welcome winter sunlight to warm a room, and windows that blur the boundaries between inside and out.
In addition to the basic functions mentioned above, the windows in this project are used skillfully to frame specific vistas of the surrounding forest.
But that is not all! These windows are 18ft long that open up to allow the living room to spill out onto the rear yard patio, making for larger rooms during the summer and essentially taking advantage of its panoramic views. At FrankFranco Architects, we often convert the small wall apertures to expansive floor-to-ceiling window applications in order to create bright, inviting and contemporary spaces.
In addition to their size, today’s windows have more sophisticated mechanisms with many layers of operation and control: curtains, shades or blinds, sash, double/triple pane, glazing insulating airspace, low-emissivity, and other coatings, insect screen, and weather-stripping. Keep in mind, all these windows and their sophistication’s are produced in factories to ensure higher production efficiency, lower costs and better quality to essentially operate easily and maintain a high degree of weather-tightness for many years.
So airy! But don’t forget, here in Canada, we have a much colder climate (snow of course) and we want to ensure our windows are weather-tight and protect us from undesirable air, water, and snow.
Why are we concerned with weather-tightness? Well, if windows are loosely installed with a single glass pane and a frame that is highly conductive of heat; the heating fuel consumption for a building will increase, they will cause noticeable discomfort to the occupants and condense large quantities of water that will stain and decay materials in and around the windows.
Yes, windows are much more intricate and can be troublesome to the exterior wall if not designed properly but they can be built much larger than the primitive wall opening, as seen in the Woodland ridge home. Though transparent and often “invisible”, windows with the use of glass, essentially give designers the opportunity to create more meaningful, attractive and economical architecture with much more comfortable spaces to inhabit.
Hope you enjoyed this peep into the window of a designer’s imagination and understand why our clients let us design with Windows.