Glorious glazing

Everglade Windows’ Jay Patel invited architect Emily Osler from Granit Architects to talk at its recent customer conference about the latest trends for glazing.

Light is an important part of any building so architects get very excited when they can design glazing that adds to the character of a property. Recently, Granit Architects have been working on some fantastic projects and although they are very different in design, a common theme is vast spans of glass. In fact, where possible we design in whole walls of glazing. It works exceptionally well for refurbishing and extending properties and it allows maximum light into the existing building, and in new build it offers a perfect backdrop to open plan areas.

Today, there are two top trends in glazing: the industrial aesthetic and indoor – outdoor.

Indoor – outdoor

Indoor – outdoor remains a top trend. It’s an important design element for architects who are often asked to create space from nothing. Choosing large glazed doors that open straight out onto the garden gives homeowners lots of natural light and the feeling of extra space. Although the trend has been around a while, there are some new twists in 2017.

Minimal frames: the new thinner frames on both sliding and bi-fold doors is something that architects have embraced. Choosing a triple track means they can allow much larger openings. Wherever possible architects are designing them in as they let in more natural light. They are also great for offering uninterrupted views – whether that’s a view of the garden and beyond in a countryside or suburban home, or city skylines from high-rise flats and apartments.

On the floor: what’s on the floor makes a massive difference to the way we see space. Choosing a flush threshold on a bi-fold or sliding door and using ceramic tiles internally and externally blurs the boundary between inside and out. It gives the maximum connection between the spaces and it also makes it very easy to move between the two.

Hidden in the plaster: to create the seamless look housebuilders can incorporate siding and bi-fold door frames that can be recessed into the plaster of ceilings and walls.

Go for gold: although manufacturers offer some colours as standard, aluminium can be ordered in any RAL colour. For example, recently Granit Architects used a gold colour (RAL 1035) that looks superb against timber cladding.

The industrial aesthetic

Full height glazing takes a different turn with the industrial aesthetic, using steel-look aluminium frames to create a multi-paned glass walls. It offers maximum style and is surprisingly versatile for home living.

Feature steel-look frame: taking design cues from 1930s warehouses, architects are designing double height windows. In a recent project, a new basement was created with steel-look framed windows that reached up to the first floor and provided access to a courtyard to the rear of the property. The steel-look aluminium frames provide interest and break up the double height glazing. The industrial theme was continued throughout the home with balustrading.

Opening frames: rather than choose big glazed doors, the industrial aesthetic offers an exciting alternative. Still utilising full width and full height glazing, but using a combination of windows, fixed panels, and doors, it allows the light to flood the room and create interesting shadows. This has been used in a project against exposed brickwork and a reclaimed column to give a unique quality.

Think inside the box: windows might be designed to be on the outside, but they can also be used as internal partitions where a separation of space is required, but maintaining natural light is imperative. Exactly as glass screens would be used in offices, using the industrial aesthetic in one property an internal glazed wall was used to bring light into a stairwell and link the different floors together. It brought a ‘Parisian’ style to the property.

Both indoor – outdoor and the industrial aesthetic look fantastic and allow more natural light to enter living spaces, and that makes them easy to live in.