USING PERIOD-INSPIRED GLAZING TO BRING IN THE LIGHT
Windows • Transoms • French doors
Glazing— the glass configuration chosen for windows and doors—can transform interior environments by bringing in light and by opening or concealing views; glass allows connection between interior spaces and to the outdoors. Modern glazing systems, deftly used together with design that considers proper proportion and compatible style, make it possible to reach for the sky while remaining firmly sheltered indoors.
Windows may be the eyes of the house, but that doesn’t mean that they are always in the right place or that we like everything they show us. That’s why a good designer or architect considers sight lines not only when building new but also when renovating historic houses.
“If the view is the painting and the window is the frame,” says David Heide, a Minneapolis architectural designer who works extensively in historic restoration, “think about what’s beyond the opening that still aligns with the rules of the house but also makes sense experientially when you’re inside looking out.”
Just as it makes sense to add glazing (if it had been limited) when the view is of a lake or a mountain, it also makes sense to remove or otherwise conceal a window that gives a prospect of, say, a building topped with concertina wire. Transparent or translucent glazing in doors and windows will bring light into a dark interior; opaque glass or panels minimize too-bright sunlight in a hot climate. [ text cont. on page 30]
A large oeil-de-boeuf window brings light into a mudroom and is a dramatic focal point on the exterior. The glazed door is from the 1920s.