Windows On Our World

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By Mark Lundegren

DSC_0661-Edit~2One of the biggest contributors to successful buildings is the design and placement of windows, including glazed doors and skylights.

While this is measurably and undoubtedly true, the topic of windows is often only a secondary consideration to architects, builders, and building owners…mistakenly taken up after, rather than concurrently with, the planning of walls, roofs, and their structural underpinnings.

We’d like to spend a few minutes discussing some window essentials, to inspire and help you to make superior design and building choices in this crucial area.

Window Comparison

Window Elegance Without Efficiency & Efficiency Without Elegance

The American architect Frank Lloyd Wright was a leader in the integrated use of windows in modern building design. Influenced by traditional Japanese design practices, as his Rosenbaum House above suggests, Wright recommended that window design and placement be part of our overall thinking about a building’s shape and fabric, and the ambient space that floors, walls, and ceilings naturally combine to create.

Wright in particular abhorred design thinking that led to the conceptual cutting of holes in preordained and immovable walls for windows and doors. Instead, he encouraged seeing these building elements in a more holistic way, where permeable and solid materials flowed harmoniously from one to another in designed patterns, each element possessing an intrinsic beauty while contributing to a larger design scheme.

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No Building Is An Island

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By Mark Lundegren

DSC_0661-Edit~2The idea that no building is an island may strike you as obvious.

And yet, our modern design and construction practices often treat each building as if it were an island unto itself…with designers, builders, developers, and building owners indifferent to and sometimes even contemptuous of each new projects’ surroundings and history.

It’s not hard to understand why this is the case. In this time of relatively unbridled and unexamined egoism and status-seeking, our norms and incentives encourage the creation of buildings that are different and even contrary to those around them – buildings designed first to produce esteem for their creators, rather than to enhance our naturally interdependent life together.

If Only Life – And Building – Were This Easy!

At the same time, the advance of construction, materials, and design technologies now allows many new building techniques and practices to be pursued. And whether for self-serving or more principled motivations, some of us are driven to use and test these new outer limits of design. But often this is done opportunistically or idealistically, and with little regard for the practical impact of our building experiments.

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Anyone Out There?

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We’re just getting this new site going, but have the initial layout, support pages, and widgets in…feel free to have a look around.

Watch for refinement of the pages and our first posts beginning in October. In the meantime and as our post stream develops  your comments & suggestions are always welcome!

Health & best wishes,

– AN