“Because maybe
You’re gonna be the one that saves me
And after all
You’re my WINDOW WALL”

- Not quite Oasis
Window Wall River

Windows Are Poetry

Like a great song, windows are poetry.  Windows alone are nothing special. Windows are simply a frame with an insert of glass when you look at them piled in a big-box store or on a job site before being placed on the home. The real magic comes when the window or windows are carefully placed within the composition of the wall.

Contemporary Window Wall

A Window Wall is Complex Design Challenge

A window wall is a complex design challenge.  To be a successful composition, the wall must strike a balance of figure and ground that reverses when the sun goes down. The openings must be designed for day and night. In addition, the window wall needs to be designed for the temperature and movement of the sun.

window wall 0000 Window Wall Water View

Activities occurring on both sides of the wall will be affected by the movement of the light.  Designing the openings in the wall to respond to this movement creates a dynamic rhythm with the space constantly changing.

Waterfront Window Wall
window wall 2 0001 Window Wall Severn scaled

How Do I Achieve A Window Wall Design?

There are multiple ways to achieve successful window walls. One way is to create punched opening with the biophilic intention of framing the view as if it’s a moving picture. The careful placement of punched openings can be used to deliberately manipulate the light for dramatic effect on the interior.

A more challenging design is the modern window wall. Advancements in glass and steel technology now allow us to flank large scale windows together. The objective is to blur the definition of the interior and exterior. When done successfully, the window wall creates a grand gesture connecting to the expanse and horizon of the landscape, while maintaining the refuge of being inside. A window wall is about the quality of light and view, not so much the quantity of light and view.

window wall 0002 Layer 0

What are some key characteristics and considerations of window walls in architecture?

  1. Natural Light: Window walls are designed to flood interior spaces with abundant natural light, reducing the need for artificial lighting during daylight hours. This not only enhances the overall ambiance of the space, but the energy efficiency of the building.
  2. Panoramic Views: They offer breathtaking panoramic views of the outdoors, whether it’s a scenic landscape, urban skyline, or any other visually appealing surroundings.
  3. Indoor-Outdoor Integration: Window walls blur the boundary between inside and outside, promoting a sense of unity with nature or the cityscape.
  4. Thermal Efficiency: Properly designed window walls incorporate energy-efficient glass and framing systems to minimize heat gain or loss, ensuring comfort and sustainability.
  5. Architectural Aesthetics: Window walls can be a striking architectural feature, contributing to the overall design and aesthetic appeal of a building.
  6. Climate Considerations: Local climate conditions, including temperature, humidity, and wind, will dictate the appropriate selection of glass and insulation solutions for year-round ease and comfort.
  7. Privacy and Glare Control: Depending on the location and purpose of the building, window walls may require shading devices or blinds to address privacy concerns and reduce glare.
window wall 2 0002 Layer 0 scaled

Walls by Bohl Architects

Window walls offer numerous advantages, but their design and implementation must be carefully planned to balance aesthetics, functionality, energy efficiency, and occupant comfort. When executed effectively, they can transform a space, creating a dynamic and visually captivating environment.

No matter what the project, Bohl designs in a way that connects the inside of the home to the outside. Window walls are just one of the many ways we accomplish this. For the majority of our clients, we have incorporated a window wall into the design of their house.

Bohl Architects have forty-eight years of experience designing legacy houses. We love incorporating window wall designs into the homes for our clients. A window wall is a wonderful way to capture the view of the landscape and develop an effortless connection of the inside and outside.

We love what we do, but the final product is only successful if you love what we do. Call us at 410.263.2200 or click here – we’re excited to hear about your unique project.

window wall 0001 Window Wall View

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