Revitalising the manufacturing, processing and application of windows
16th September 2021
The history of windows is the history of the relationship between built form and external environments. The English word ‘window’, derives from Old Norse ‘vindauga’, literally meaning ‘wind- eye’. This word replaced the Old English word ‘eagþyrl’, which directly translates to ‘eye-hole’. From their very inception, windows have quite literally facilitated protection & the visual connection between humans and the elements.
But a window’s function goes beyond the pragmatic. In churches - some of the worlds most resounding & enduring structures - stained glass windows, fixed high in church walls, give the illusion of the heavens casting their presence from above. The filtering of light into a building, and the contrasts of light and shade, volume and space, heighten ones experience of the natural world, whilst being protected in a sheltered space.
Glass became the defining material of the 20th century. “The ‘glass wall’ is the conquest of the Modern Age... this is the great architectural revolution,” (Le Corbusier, 1935). However, the industrial revolution saw the rise of mass production and ‘cookie cutter’ cities.
The result - a very unsustainable approach to material consumption & the disruption of connection between people & planet.
Today, our revised awareness of finite planetary resources begs us to design & build consciously, and with purpose. We cannot afford to simply build buildings without any consideration for their lasting impact.
In this challenge lays an opportunity - to design windows for meaningful living.
View our Impact Model Here!