OPENINGS’ TREATMENT SYSTEMS -Design Parameters

 Post -by Gautam Shah

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Openings are specifically intention-ed and architecturally well detailed systems. Yet such architectural entities need to be customized and personalized according to the location, orientation, interior use and the user. Openings also need to be multi purpose systems with various mechanisms and appendages. The mechanisms endow wide range of functionality, whereas the appendages as applique treatments make an opening a personal entity.

401px-Patwon_ki_haveli_18Openings are masked, framed, sized, scaled, camouflaged, concealed, sequenced and unitized.These treatments are mainly architectural conditioning systems, to integrate the openings as subset of larger composition -the building. The nature of individual details, relate to the larger entity, confirm to local traditions or impose some perceived style. Openings’ treatments occur with the conception of the main entity, but more often than not these are brought in later in time. The later period initiator has often greater budget, sharper conceptual definitions, finer comprehension of compositional values, better assessment of shortcomings, access to new technologies, and greater sincerity to interior related needs of the occupants.

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Openings have several categories like: for physical access such as doors, gates,  for view out or in such as windows and shop-fronts, for environmental exchange such as vents, holes, chimneys, and for emergency egress. Openings occur as contrasting elements against the wall, highlighted by the  varied textures, colours, shadows or light seeping in-out from the gaps.

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Location: Openings’ treatments are dependent on the location of the opening. The factors are: ground floor, upper floor levels, attic, cellar, etc., road touch faces, side and back side faces, public or private spaces, open vista or cut-out spaces.

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Orientation:    Openings’ treatments are orientation specific.   The variables : directions like North, South, East, West, sun’s angel of incidence, breeze direction, degree of privacy, orientation value in terms of landmarks, natural features, etc.

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Environmental conditions: Environmental effects are very directional, diurnal and seasonal. The environmental constituents are: time of the day or night, seasons, solar incidences, and breeze directions.

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Functional units: Openings’ treatments serve a space units’ interior functions: such as bedroom, drawing room, kitchen, toilets, offices, store rooms, etc.

Utilitarian purposes:   Openings serve utilitarian purposes  such as: ventilation, illumination, breeze catching, vision or vista, security, identification, emergency egress delivery of goods, communication, restricted animal or bird access.

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Height situations: Openings are placed at various height positions such as ground floors, upper floors, cellars, roofs and in terms of height positions such as low, middle, high, etc. For each such reference, the opening’s treatments vary.

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Profile positions: Openings are profiled as  horizontal, vertical, inclined,  skyward, downward, etc. The nature of exposure to various elements determines the type of treatment that are required.

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User abilities: Some openings are designed to serve specific physiological needs of the users such as: young, adults, infirm, aged, senile, prisoners, mentally retarded etc. Openings’ treatments are designed to suit their abilities, ergonomic and anthropometric requirements.

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Cultural and Social relevance: Openings’ treatments at exterior as well as interior level reflect the beliefs of the user, which emerges from the religion, customs and nature of privacy or social interaction desired.

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Users’ personality: It is a cumulative effect showing interests and involvement of many people. Individually a user continuously evolves and varies the choices, and one of the crucial aspect of it is subjective need for change with reference to past colonnades.

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Choices and Variations: Need for a change is one of the key determinants for openings’ treatments. A user wants something different from the current state, which may not necessarily be a new theme or entity. Historical styling is one such mode for a change. The change is also caused by alteration of key elements forming the openings’ treatment, such as colour, texture, size, form, illumination, etc.

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