The Double Hung Window

By Dan Gregory

A handsome use of Marvin double hung windows by Estes Twombly Architects.

A double-hung window -- that is, with two sashes that can move past each other either up or down -- is one of many window types to consider when you are designing or building a new house and is often depicted in art work as architectural shorthand and symbol for the classic American home. It has a long history, from Georgian London to the House of Seven Gables in Salem, Massachusetts, of around 1725, up to today, as shown in this handsome traditional  design, which is a sort of updated House of Seven Gables — by Estes Twombly Architects. The windows are by Marvin Windows and Doors (photo courtesy Marvin).

The architects
turned them into a window wall by mounting them close together around a corner of the kitchen. This design looks very simple, and yet it is hard to do because the design is all about proportion and balancing the act of seeing through the window and seeing the window itself. Alvar Aalto is reputed to have said: “When you are designing a window, imagine your girlfriend sitting inside looking out.” In other words a window is always a picture frame — so shape it and place it where it will make the looking good!

Originally Published in Eye On Design

08/08/2013

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