BLOGS LINKS about PERCEPTION

Post 652 -by Gautam Shah

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These are my select few 91+ blogs (out of nearly 850 placed on my 4 blog sites) written over last 4 years, now compiled under a common theme ‘Space Perception’ with following sub sections.

      0  New series of Lectures (Four) on Perception

  1. SPACE PERCEPTION
  2. ILLUMINATION
  3. MOVEMENT, BALANCE
  4. OPENINGS SYSTEMS
  5. GLASS
  6. GRILLS, TRELLIS, CURTAINS
  7. SOUND and NON VISUAL
  8. OBJECTS, SURFACES, COLOURS, PATTERNS
  9. REALITY, MAKE-BELIEVE

 

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0  New series of Lectures (Four) on Perception

0.1 SOME SOUND BITES -Space Perception -I

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2018/02/12/some-sound-bites-space-perception-i/

0.2 STRATIFICATION of VISION

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2018/03/02/stratification-of-vision0.2 /

0.3 PERCEPTION of SPATIAL FIELDS -ILLUMINATION

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2018/03/11/perception-of-spatial-fields-illumination/

0.4 MULTI NODAL PERCEPTIONS of OBJECTS in SPACE

https://designacademics.wordpress.com/2018/05/14/multi-nodal-perceptions-of-objects-in-space/

 

 

1 SPACE PERCEPTION

1.1 PROCESS of PERCEPTION

1.2 PROCESS of PERCEPTION part-I

1.3 SPACE PERCEPTION -through seeing, hearing and touching

1.4 SPACE PERCEPTION – Issues for Design -4

1.5 SPACE PERCEPTION

1.6 SPATIAL DEFINITIONS

1.7 SENSING OBJECTS BEYOND THEIR SIZE MEASURES

1.8 SPATIAL DEFINITIONS

1.9 SPATIAL DISTANCING and BEHAVIOUR

1.10 DISTANCING in SPACE

1.11 SPACES SIZES and SHAPES

1.12 SMALL SPACES and LARGE SPACES

1.13 REACH in SPACE

Scaffold Building Manhattan New York City Taxi

2 ILLUMINATION

2.1 CONTRAST EFFECT – PERCEPTION

2.2 PERCEPTION of SPATIAL FIELDS -ILLUMINATION

2.3 DAYLIGHTING

2.4 DAY-LIGHTING – in Interior Spaces

2.5 DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS for DAYLIGHTING

2.6 SPACE PERCEPTION and ILLUMINATION

2.7 DAYTIME INTERIOR ILLUMINATION -REALITY and PERCEPTION

2.8 INTERIOR ILLUMINATION through DOORS

2.9 WINDOW LOCATION and NATURAL LIGHTING

2.10 LE CORBUSIER and ILLUMINATION

2.11 COMPARING WINDOWS of FLW, LC and Mies

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3 MOVEMENT, BALANCE

3.1 MOVEMENT and BALANCE – Issues for Design -5

3.2 PERCEPTION of BALANCE and MOVEMENT

3.3 BALANCE in DESIGN – Part 1

3.4 BALANCE in DESIGN – Part 2

3.5 VISUAL PERCEPTION of MOVEMENTS

3.6 PERCEPTION through SCALES and CONVERSIONS -Issues or Design -3 

Landscape

4 OPENINGS SYSTEMS

4.1 LEVELS of OPENINGS

4.2 DESIGNING OPENINGS

4.3 CLASSICAL WINDOW FORMS

4.4 ARCHITECTURAL WINDOWS and VISION in-out

4.5 ARCHITECTURAL WINDOWS and the MEANING

4.6 ARCHITECTURAL WINDOWS and MECHANICS of VISION

4.7 MEANING of a WINDOW SILL

4.8 THIRD DIMENSION of OPENINGS

4.9 LANTERNS in ARCHITECTURE

4.10 CLERESTORY OPENINGS

4.11 SKY LIGHTS

4.12 ROOF LIGHTS

4.13 SHOP WINDOWS

4.14 SHOP WINDOWS – SHOP FRONTS – DISPLAY WINDOWS

4.15 FRAMING of OPENINGS

4.16 MASKING of OPENINGS Part -III -Framing

4.17 MASKING of OPENINGS Part -II

4.18 MASKING of OPENINGS Part -I

Eating_Alone

5 GLASS

5.1 GLASS in ARCHITECTURE -1

5.2 GLASS and PERCEPTION

5.3 GLASS in WINDOWS – Part • I

5.4 GLASS in WINDOWS – Part • II

5.5 COLOURED GLASS

Fixing Metallic Transparency Glass Front Metal6 GRILLS, TRELLIS, CURTAINS

6.1 CONTEXT -Issues for Design -12

6.2 ROOFS 3 -Skyline and Silhouette

6.3 HOLISM and DESIGN

6.4 TRELLIS

6.5 GRILLS

6.6 CURTAINS

6.7 TRANSLUCENCY for CURTAINS

6.8 SHEER FABRICS and CURTAINS

6.9 SHEER FABRICS and CURTAINS-2

6.10 NON SILK SHEER FABRICS and CURTAINS

6.11 WEIGHT and TRANSLUCENCY of fabrics for curtains

6.12 SHEER FABRICS

Religious Kneeling Worship Pray Prayer Church

7 SOUND and NON VISUAL

7.1 SOUND

7.2 SOUND, SPACE and PERCEPTION

7.3 PERCEPTION of SOUND and SPACES

7.4 SPACE and SOUND REVERBERATION

7.5 SOUND and NOISE MANAGEMENT

7.6 HEARING and interior spaces

7.7 ACOUSTICS in SMALL SPACES

7.8 SOUND and SMALL SPACES

7.9 SPACE PLANNING and NON VISUAL CUES

7.10 NON VISUAL LANGUAGE -Issues for Design -6

7.11 LANGUAGE EXPRESSION and SOUND PERCEPTION

wuzhen-1643267_6408 OBJECTS, SURFACES, COLOURS, PATTERNS

8.1 OBJECTS in SPATIAL FIELDS -Issues for Design -14

8.2 COLOURS -Perception and Expression

8.3 COLOURS and BUILDINGS

8.4 FLOORINGS

8.5 FLOORING COLOUR

8.6 FLOORINGS IN INTERIOR SPACES

8.7 PERCEPTION of SURFACE FINISHES

8.8 GLOSS

8.9 TEXTURES and MATERIALS

8.10 JOINTS in SURFACE FINISHES

8.11 MOSAICS

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9 REALITY, MAKE-BELIEVE

9.1 SOLIDS and VOIDS -issues for Design -13

9.2 AUGMENTED REALITY

9.3 SPACES and REALITY

9.4 MAKE-BELIEVE in INTERIOR DESIGN

 

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BEVELLED GLASS in DOORS and WINDOWS

Post 393 – by Gautam Shah 

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A bevelled glass is made by dressing or grinding the edge or sections of a design with a slope, chamfering or an angled edge to create special effects. The edge dressing creates a prism like effect and alters the way light refracts while passes through the glass or reflect of the surface. Bevelling splits the light into unusual patterns including a rainbow of colours. Bevelled glass is installed in doors and windows to add dynamism to daylight illumination of a room. There were few other techniques of treating the glass, like fire finish, etc. for special lighting effects. These were devised as soon as glass for windows matured in quality.

Green Roman glass cup unearthed at Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 AD) tomb, Guangxi, China

Early glass, such as of Romans was mainly in the form of fuzzy disks that were inserted in terraces, arched barrels and domed roofs for illumination of interiors. These were very fuzzy or low intensity illuminating devices. Glass disks were polished to reduce the fuzziness due to the surface or casting related impurities. Irregularities related to manufacturing were of several types, such as the colourant contamination, bubbles or casting -moulding methods. In spite of grinding, all of these could not be eliminated so easily. Clear glass panes of some translucency were first made by blowing it to thin walled cylinders or bulbs, then cut and flattened. These, 3rd C, methods gave clearer glass, because it was of a thinner body and larger in size than the cast disks. These panes were placed in structured punctures as a fixed panels. The glass was more translucent but visually very hazy.

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The hazy glasses, however, provided wonderful glow to interiors. The costs were prohibitive due to the rarity, high cast of installation and need for frequent replacement. The ‘daytime glowing glass’ had inconsistent levels of impurities. An opening with several such panes would look fairly patchy, but this was camouflaged with glass colourants. The colourants or staining compounds offered a palette of colours.

The stained glass provided a daytime glow to the interiors, but it was not a working level of illumination. The increased openings’ size and larger glazed extent provided sufficient interior illumination on clear day and for few hours of daytime exposure. This problem was solved by using lighter tones of colours than the ‘pot’ glass, and by leaving substantial sections of image backgrounds (other than the holy images) of colourless glass.

Typical fuzzy glass in the 14th century Lyme Regis watermill, UK.

The Church interiors began to use glasses of lighter colours and plain glasses. These reduced the overpowering effect of colour in the interior space, allowing gilding and other ornamental details to be seen and also permitting the building to glow on outside, at night with interior lighting. It also allowed the reappearance of wall paintings, and colouring of architectonic interior elements.

Elegant figures in subdued colours. 1890

The glass as produced by cylinder or crown method was hazy, with marks of flutes but fairly colourless. It was of small sized panes. The panes were joined together with lead cames. The lead cames which earlier, marked the free flowing strong defining lines of the image, were now grid forms. American colonial sash windows represent the classic grid. The glass, of the industrial revolution period had manufacturing defects such as lines, flutes and rings. It was not possible to view the exterior as one large picture across the leads. The leads’ grid however imposed a visual discipline, rest of the disguising was achieved by thin see-through curtains and by painting the windows white.

Stenciled quarries of cathedral glass, c. 1900

During the industrial revolution period clear quality glasses of very large sizes began to be available. Very large and absolutely flawless, water white clear glass had its own problems of acceptance. It was too clear for the interior privacy, and provided no framing or visual masking over the view to outside. The problem was partly solved by installing curtains with both sides having visual appeal. Its appearance was rather too consistent.

Bluecoat Chambers in Liverpool, 1717

Some longed for the dynamism of variegated glass and visual masking. These two elements were provided by engraving and etching the glass surface with textures and patterns. To this was added the technique of glass bevelling. Glass bevelling is done in THREE basic manners. Edges of the glass panes are bevelled, very much like the wood panels in a door. Glasses are bevelled grooved by engraving. And the glasses are overlayed by smaller pieces of bevelled edged shapes.

St Nicholas Church Moreton Dorset

Bevelled glasses are used for doors, windows and partition panels. The bevelled glass is often additionally treated with grinding, etching, engraving, and painted staining work. Bevelled glass was favoured as it provided occlusion for privacy and isolation, but nowadays window glasses with various levels of tinting, metallic sprays, polyester films, etc. provide the same facility. Bevelled glass is still unrivalled in terms refracting the light in a spectrum of colours and dynamism.

Engraving on Glass

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GLASS in ARCHITECTURE -1

Post 263 ⇒   by Gautam Shah  →

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Glass has been used in architecture in THREE major ways. It has been used as a space moulding surface material, environment controller and for the metaphysical allusions.

Central Library Seattle Washington

Architecture has always been manifestation of surfaces. The surfaces have been predominantly opaque and omnipresent. This aspect has been sought to be dissolved in many different manners. The textural character of the built mass with its varying shadows has enlivened the surface. Structures like the pyramids or the burial chambers of Newgrange were monotonous, because the texturing elements were too small for the extent of the surface. The surfaces of later structures were further surface- modulated with incised with figures, writings or colour variations of materials. Large variegation of gaps, openings and massive impositions of columns and projections further dissolved the monolithic character of the form.

Chichen Itza pyramid Mexico

The diffusion of outer skin of a building was not desirable. In Egyptian or the Indian temples it exposed the inner areas to weather. The surface conversions for texturizing must remain an overt change, and for that reason an envelope was required. The envelope in Parthenon and other buildings were exterior surface composition. The inner core, covered by the outer skin had little need for surface treatment.

Erechtheion of the Acropolis, Athens

The monolithic nature of building and its surface character began to change with additions of functional units, such as wings, blocks, towers, campaniles and ambulatory spaces. The openings were made emphatic with various architectonic elements.

St. Michael’s Church, Hildesheim Architectural elements moulding the form

Abbaye Cerisy le Foret, Normandy, France Architectural elements moulding the form

The building’s exterior surface was fairly complex arrangement of forms. The interior surfaces though remained moderately plain, devoid of any play of architectural features. Interior surfaces of the Santa Sophia, Constantinople, were masked with bends of various materials, tying up openings, columns, etc.

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Santa Sophia Interior Surface Treatment > Wikipedia image by Dean Strelau

 The Glass was not yet a force as a space moulding surface material. Its size was small, life short, quality inferior and very costly. It was just an illumination element that allowed, light without rains, winds minus the cold or warmth. It replaced parchment, alabaster, etc. The walls were massive to allow large sized openings. The framing techniques with stone, wood, and lead caulking were poor.

By Romanesque period there was realization that Glass is a good controller of environment. It could simultaneously protect and illuminate the interiors. Other realization was that, glassed openings shone at night, giving a brilliant recognition to the architecture. The same glass during day time, in spite of colour staining had lusterless or dull metallic grey face.

Strasbourg Cathedral, France The glass face during day time from outside was dull metallic grey surface

The interiors of the buildings of religious order were mural painted, but for that to be seen day time illumination was required. The openings seemed narrow in proportionately heavy thickness of walls. The resolution to this was in chamfering the inner edges of sides, sills and in instances lintel heads. This method gave a ‘sense’ of a larger source of illumination. For paintings on both long walls to be visible, the openings had to be on opposite walls. The placement of openings broke the continuity of the story telling board -the murals.

St Malachys Church, Castlewellan, Chamfered edges of windows enhance the brightness

The basilica of Sant’Apollinare Nuovo in Ravenna –For wall art to be seen Windows on opposite face are necessary

Glass had its own tinge of colour which affected the colour scheme of the wall art. One way of diluting the tinge effect was to produce glass as thin as possible. This was done by blowing glass cylinders or bulbs and flattening them. This glass had imperfections that marred the visual clarity. The blown glass panes when placed in lower sections of the building distorted the scenery. Some form of occluding was required. Dwellings began to have sheer curtain masking, and in religious stained and painted glasses were used.

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ARCHITECTURAL WINDOWS and MECHANICS of VISION

Post 248 – by Gautam Shah

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Trump_Tower_-_inside_front_entrance_-_large_image

Architectural windows have many sizes, shapes, form and locations. Wherever and for whatever intentions a window is placed, its most fascinating function is view out, and for some cases the view in. Wherever there is a little crack or opening in a wall like structure, one wants to discover the realm on the other side. Windows, enlarged or small in size, transgressed out and inward, pushed to the floor or roof, to regulate the scope of vision.

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The mechanics of vision depend on several factors, such as: distances of the window frame, vision cone and the frame extent, sill level, lintel level, shading devices, size of window sides, window design or configuration, quality of glazing, level of maintenance, the differences of outside and inside illumination, amount of the glare, treatments on internal and external faces, quality of external surroundings, tasks, orientation, climatic conditions, lighting conditions, need for protection and privacy, etc.

NASA Space ship Window

The notion of the ‘eyes as the window to the psyche’ goes back at least to a text by philosopher Sextus Empiricus (2nd C AD).

The factors regulating the vision continue to evolve with new forms of openings, shutter systems and glazing technologies. A window is a frame, marking the edges of the aperture, and also the reference plane for the visual experience. The frame of a window reflects its structural dependence, but also aspirations for the structural un-susceptibility. The frame is not the body of a window, but rather the sized sides of the openings. The openings’ sides, sill tops and lintel or arched bottoms, in heavier wall structures imposed their presence, with the differential colour tone of the reflected light. These were, both, enhanced or dissolved with techniques like chamfering of sides, placing the window on an extreme inner or outer edge, texturing the side with flutes and carvings. The treatments to the sides affected the framing clarity of the vision.

Residence Abbey Church Holyrood Palace Holyroodhouse

The sides of the openings were encroached or enhanced by additional architectonic elements, such Jambs, sides, entablatures, architraves, pilasters, half columns, pediments, etc. These elements were intended to mould the appearance of the openings, but in many instances undulated the edges of the visual framing.

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Glass windows have been prominent in domestic buildings since the 15th C, before, that these were employed in Gothic churches and public buildings. The Gothic windows were meant for the colourful effect, and due to a high plinth (sills were usually beyond the head level on ground floors) less for vision purposes. Compared to it, the Indian temples have remained without glazing, offer very little for vision-in, though vision out was through an axially placed opening.

High Plinth Windows Tall sill levels Gloucester Cathedral https://www.flickr.com/photos/ell-r-brown/14888694202

Sections of the windows cause stratification of the view. Windows show views in three references: The higher view (above the horizontal eye level or head level), the middle view (within the nominal cone of vision) and the lower view (eye and the head both bend downward). The stratification of view becomes obvious when working some distance away (typically equal to one human height measure) from the window. A person working close to the face of a window may get all three views from a mid level opening. The strata are more pronounced in windows with horizontal baffles as the shading component.

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Stratification of View by Window divisions

Higher view from the upper section of a multi-story building shows up only sky, a very static view. But higher view in a low rise building shows upper parts of surrounding buildings, mid portions of trees, and horizon, a slightly changing view, but not strong enough to cause any distraction. Mid level views on busy streets, are distracting due to continuously moving objects outside, and varying illumination and reflections in the interior space. Mid level views from any floor are ergonomically not exerting for most tasks. Low level view from upper floors show up the grounds, gardens, lower terraces, water bodies, etc. All of these surfaces very strongly reflect the changes in solar illumination, shadows, moving objects, etc. The ceiling surfaces become extremely vivid due to the upward reflections, not an ideal proposition for bed rooms, rest rooms and hospital wards.

Corner window

A fully stretched floor to ceiling window shows all the three views concurrently, and as a result there is no stratification of the view. The strata can be supported or diffused, by including or avoiding the horizontal elements in window design.

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Open Zarokhas, bay windows and Latticed balconies, like at the Jaipur Hawa Mahal or Mashrabiya of middle east, are two opposite versions of street side openings.

Mashrabiya Egypt

Historically, windows have not been used for viewing in the interior spaces. Though small aperture openings, alone or as part of the doors, were used for eavesdropping, spying or casual observation (Darshan). These were small sized because the eye was placed very close to the aperture. Display cabinets and Aquariums have glazed fronts to display the items. Office and cabin doors have view windows.

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Commercial spaces require people to see the interiors’ spaces and the goods and activities therein. Shop fronts are large format fixed glass windows. A shop front design depends on the angle of observation, difference between outside-inside illumination, angles of a light source, its size and intensity. Shop fronts are designed for clear and glare free view, achieved by treatments over glass, external shading devices and through back up illumination. The quality of glass and its cleanliness become very important issue. A view-in window like the shop front ensures security as a person breaking-in is likely to be observed.

Glass store-fronts

The cone of vision is determined by the width of the window and depth of the room. A corner side window cuts off the view compared to a centrally positioned window. Ribbon like horizontal windows are called panoramic openings, whereas spot windows are called picture openings.

Villa Savoye Ribbon window

Panoramic views became popular with curtain wall structures. Here the horizontal members are placed floor level, and verticals are widely spaced or concealed. The glass walled window has the R-value of 3, which is the same as an inch of corrugated cardboard, making it a space of uneven temperatures. A study by the Urban Green Council, says that 59% of New Yorkers keep the blinds closed over their big glass windows.

Caboose wagon

The excitement of the frontal panoramic view and domed eye view of Pantheon have gone a step further. It started with Caboose rail wagons, where a dome projection over the roof allowed all round vision. The view down is being tried in many different formats. Sears Tower in Chicago has installed four glass box viewing platforms or sky-deck (called Deck) that juts out 1.2 mt, at 103 floors level.

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The television screen as a replacement of a traditional window, creates ‘spatial ambiguity between public and private space’. In German post-war-architecture, the transparency of glass was equated with the transparency of the democratic government (dome of the former Reichstag in Berlin).

Glass Box Balcony 1

Glass Box Balcony 2

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ARCHITECTURAL WINDOWS and VISION IN – OUT

 

Post 247 – by Gautam Shah

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For ages, seeing is implied in the word window,  such as in auga = eye ( ‘vindauga’ mean a ‘wind eye’). It was replaced in old English eagþyrl, (eye-hole), and eagduru (eye-door).

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Walls of a building demarcate two distinctive worlds of inside and outside, but walls being opaque only, one is experienced at a time, and the other is unseen, so ignored. Openings like doors and windows allow the connection between the two realms to be simultaneously live. The see-through unglazed or glazed opening allows a chance for deliberation, which in case of a window is less causative then a door. The door threshold, real or imaginary can be transgressed either way at will, but a window sill is not always trespass-able from outside. Few windows have known or hospitable terrain outside. Only thing that could come through a middle age backyard window was the stench of the garbage or the night-soil thrown out every day. The backyard window, facing mass of buildings had little to offer as a view, but replacing the louvres with a pane of glass did stop the stench.

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The gaze in or out of a window, for many years, was not considered a great problem, as the casting-forming defects in the glass (and earlier mica or alabaster), made it fuzzy. The glass panes for the windows, even though muddled, were rare, costly and fragile. The cost and bother of their replacement was a major matter. The glass size was small, so needed framing by several muntins and mullions, making the entire glazed opening prone to sagging. Glazed openings were mainly used in public buildings or for rich mansions. These were the people who could afford frequent glass replacement, and when technology offered, replace it with clearer quality of glass.

 

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15th C architect, sculptor, painter, and theorist Leon Battista Alberti, considered a painting to resemble a view out of a window. ‘First of all, on the surface on which I am going to paint, I draw a rectangle of whatever size I want, which I regard as an open window through which the subject to be painted is seen;…’ . Alberti formulated the method of one-point linear perspective for scene painting. The window frame defined the canvas to scale, form the depth as a meta screen.

Dürer’s woodcut shows metaphoric use of window as a glass screen for forming one point perspective.

This intimate connection of seeing, outside, airiness, of windows transforms into metaphoric perception, realization and ultimately to the soul. The tunnel end is an opening of relief, so is a window that manifests where none was expected. It is like a dream that is remembered on sudden opening of the eye. An opaque window is called a blind opening, and set of louvered slats are window blinds. All early versions of the Televisions and Computers had a very strong window frame and were called windows to the world. Radio remained without a frame, just a listening device. These similes somehow show a window to be switch-able, open and shut case (a simple and straightforward situation without complications). The curtain masking, film layering and metallizing of the glass are concealing what is on the inside.

Framed TV screen like window

Frame-less Screen

In early Gothic buildings the day and night visions of the buildings were completely different. During daytime the interiors were brilliantly filled with colour, but the exterior face presented dull, almost flat, grey face of the glass, with very little perception of the colours of the stained glass. During night time, in the beginning phase, the building was even duller. But soon it began to be lit on inside by oil lamps and candles. Now the building on the outside had a colourful glow against the dark -street-lights less city scape. The glass became lighter coloured (Grisaille) and staining only selective, The oil lamps and candles, in large numbers, a created maintenance problem of soot removal. Private mansions began to have towers topped with a glass cage lit at night.

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Stained Glass during daytime from outside

In the post Industrial revolution period the window became free of the wall as curtain wall, providing uninterrupted view in commercial buildings. Mies van der Rohe did the same thing for a dwelling in Farnsworth House. Le Corbusier in earlier phase used the glass as a grey surface, but in a later phase the glass becomes an unimportant feature, on the outside masked by architectonic elements like brise de soleil.

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Fransworth House

Windows for transactions in Banks, Post offices and Government departments were once pigeon holes in opaque walls, not allowing much visual exchange. This became glass fronts with pigeons’ holes, encouraging a visual exchange, later became across the table relationship, and now remote and internet connection. The window form has also turned from a little hole to a large glass pane wall, and behind a screen or communication window.

Fixing Metallic Transparency Glass Front Metal

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GLASS in WINDOWS – Part • II

Post 202 – by Gautam Shah 

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Glass has had brilliantly glossy surface. The glossy surface resulted from grinding out the irregularities of surface casting-flattening the blown glass. The glossy surface often called a glassy face, presented variegated glimmers. The glass was produced in small pieces, and was rarely perfectly flat. Its composition within mullions and muntins, as a leaded pane, consisted of several small units, each at slightly a varied angle. It produced a very vivid surface, but one that was more opaque then transparent one.

Leaded Panes

Leaded Panes

Glossy surfaces in architectural exteriors were available on highly polished marbles and granites, but these soon weathered to a matt or dull face on exposure to weather. Ceramic mosaics were the only long lasting glossy surfaces, for the exteriors. On the interior face the glossy face of glass was rarely perceived, as the daylight filtering through it, made the surface gleaming or translucent. The gloss of the glass on the interior face, however, was seen against the polished marbles, granites, wood polishes, ceramic mosaics and gilding or metallizing.

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Sistine_Chapel_North_and_East_Walls

The glass as Gothic stained glass was placed against the painted dull surface of fresco art work.  Former was back lit surface and the other was front lit by the opposite side openings. Both, the stained glass and the fresco were prone to weather. Stained glass weathered to brittle or crumbling surface and frescoes were susceptible to moist weather. As against both of these surface treatments ceramic mosaics were glossy and longer lasting.

Glass metallic grey surface

Glass metallic grey surface

In architecture on the exterior side, the glass was treated as a mass forming surface rather then the mass dissolving surface. During day time, on the interior face the glass was mass dissolving surface. Perception of night interior glass face, was not overbearing due to lack of high intensity of illumination (in early periods). The low level night interior illumination however was sufficient to highlight all the glassed and trellis opening faces against the dark building mass, over the exterior.

Strong window elements

Strong window elements

The glass-covered faces were of metallic-grey tone, without much tonal variations, except created by the visual aberration of due to multiple reflective and continuously varying tones of the surfaces. The interest, however, was framed by strongly patterned divisions of the window sub-units such as mullions and muntins. The contrast was very marked as the window framing elements were dull and of darker colour, whereas the glass was glossy and vivid.

Glass dissolving the mass on interior side

Glass dissolving the mass on interior side

640px-Memchu_mosaics

The ‘mass’ perception of glass face was very different from all other materials that were used in early architecture. Glass helped dissolve almost indissoluble relation between the mass and gravity. The mass and gravity always occurred in architecture with inevitable simultaneity. A stable built-form was massive, and so perceived to be gravity-compliant, whereas any attempt to transgress the form by puncturing it or through an expansionist modulation was considered defiance of the gravity.

Glass Architecture Gravity defiant & Mass dissolution

Glass Architecture Gravity defiant & Mass dissolution

Glass provided a skin that was ethereal but form constituting. It was light in weight and yet un-massive due to the glossy face. It was ethereal because it allowed the transgression of the other side. The effort to de-mass the built-form through the de-materialization occurred in many different ways. The discernibility of the architectural elements was dissolved through the glossy surface of glass. The light passing through the glass suppressed the darkness that was enhancing the massiveness of corners, edges and ledges.

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GLASS in WINDOWS – Part • I

Post 198 –by Gautam Shah

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Steel Palm House Greenhouse Glass Architecture

The window like its counterpart the door was a solid shuttered opening in clod climates and a latticed one in warm climates. It did not offer any other options. The first alternative was provided by the soft covering like a curtain. It offered translucency of diffused light and privacy, but did not protect the interior from high winds, rains or cold.

55_windows_Palace_at_Bhaktapur_Durbar_Square,_Nepal

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512px-Village_window_in_T_gollarahatti,a_village_near_channagiri,davenagereThe first glass in an opening was the little cast disk fixed in the roofs. The disks were cast in sand shallow pits, and partially ground to improve its translucency. Technologically it was not possible to produce larger disks and of better transparency. Other materials for window covering were leather (as parchment), wax or oil coated woven clothes, thin pieces of alabaster, and in the orients -the paper.

Pittsburgh_Sketches_--_Among_the_Glass-Workers

The first window glass ‘panes began to be produced after 1st C AD. These were sheets flattened out of blown glass jars or bottles. Two types of glass were flattened, one was the bottom disc and the other was the cylindrical wall of the blown form. Both, however, retained some curvature of the body, and had poor quality. The poor quality resulted from the inferior glass production technology, retention of curvilinear patterns, poor flattening surface, and poor annealing technology (to remove stresses to make it less brittle). Small size and its slightly curved shape made fixing very difficult.

First commercially (16-17C) produced windows glass was broad cylinder sheet. It was known as broad or muff glass. It was formed by cutting a blown glass cylinder sideways and flattening on a table when still hot. It had uneven thickness, lines marks, and was stuck with dust, sand particles, air bubbles. It was produced till 18 C but the process remained in use till 19 C due to its low requirement of technology. Crown Glass which replaced the cylinder glass, was a flattened bottom disk of a blown glass bulb. It was to an extent was clearer. It had high lustre and lesser stuck-on impurities. It had though unique concentric rings.

Bhutan Houses show many of the ancient usage of glass

Bhutan Houses show many of the ancient usage of glass

Large openings were sub-divisioned by mullions of wood, stone or metals. But technologically the glass was not large enough to cover the inter-mullion space. So small pieces of glass were joined by lead, and very occasionally with crude mastic compound of bitumen. The lead joints and mullions both were used to form patterns. The mullions were of stiffer materials, so formed little stiffer or geometric patterns whereas the lead was soft option amenable to floral and artistic linear patterning. The third option, now added, was to exploit glass casting figures, tinge variations, and manufacturing defects as colour-texture-transparency variations.

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Kengo Kuma's Water -Glass structure in Atami, Shizuoka Prefectur

The window in spite of its static form and glass limitations was a very lively interior surface. The builder also realized the importance of quality of light on various orientations. The windows were devised in consideration of the quality of light from various directions, the scheduling of activities within the building, its profile and location (chamfered inside-outside, low level or clerestory). The nature of Interior treatments, such as paintings (fresco, gesso, etc.), murals (marble, glass mosaic, etc.), gilding, wood work, stone cladding, engraved surfacing, etc. were all affected by the quality of glass in the window, and in turn affected the type of glass being used in the windows.

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Glass began as a little disk for interior illumination. The Glass took several centuries to achieve sheet form and equal time space to achieve the state of a plate. During this period there were two potentials that were eagerly being sought. Glass as roofing material arrived at the end of 18 th C. If the glass could be roofing sheet, the glass as floor had to wait 250 years. Glass was first produced as blown cylinder and bulb, but rarely conceived as curved sheet for windows. The urge was already there. Corners in buildings were omni present hindrance, and to dissolve it various solutions including glass to glass joints were attempted, but never a curved glass. Glass has inherent limitations of shape forming, and this has allowed Acrylics and Polycarbonates as replacement materials.   4458669998_cd56598dc2_z

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