It’s easy to take windows for granted, but it’s interesting to note that it took about 1,000 years for windows to be fitted with glass that was thin, flat, even, and clear. Windows have changed over time, and in combination with architecture, technology, and art there are amazing constructions across the world.
Nanotechnology and windows
The rapid develop of nanotechnology has led to interesting applications. In the photo below, the glass repels dirt, which is easily removed with plain water. That is one example of the fascinating ways this type of technology is used. In Waterloo, a small startup has designed controlled tinting. The window can be clear or coloured, and once activated saves the cost energy used to heat and cool.
Bringing colour to the world
Stained glass windows have been around since Medieval times. Its early use included adorning religious buildings and wealthy domiciles. One building in the Netherlands has lined its exterior with a mix of colours. It’s called the Institute of Sound and Vision, or Neutelings Riedijk Architects (NRA) in its original language, Dutch. The artist, Jaap Drupsteen, was consulted to design it, fitting in with the city of Hilversum, the cultural hub of the country.
Turning the window sideways
Instead of the regular horizontal use of the window, skylights have been used to let natural light illuminate the indoors. The Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts was originally constructed in 1894. Combined with engineering efforts, the foyer has been designed to open up its ceiling. It was designed as an art museum. Because of design issues, the roof was prone to leaking whenever it rained or snowed. Finally, the problem was resolved and further reinforced to withstand seismic shifts.
Historically significant windows
There have been famous buildings and famous people. During important moments in history or at culturally and politically relevant places, buildings and homes have always been around. One such example is the window from which the Pope reads the “Angelus” mass. It is one of over 10,000 windows in the Apostolic Palace. The Palace could house over the same amount of residents. Although the window is similar in construction to adjacent ones, it’s adorned with a cloth that is hung carefully over the ledge. Interestingly, the room is a study. The Pope’s room is actually on a separate floor.