BLOG LINKS on OPENINGS SYSTEMS

Post 633 –by Gautam Shah

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ANTI-LIGATURE https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/anti-ligature/

LOCKS https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/08/15/locks/

ANTI LIGATURE > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2016/06/28/anti-ligature-issues-for-design-8/

SAFETY ASPECTS of DESIGN > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/safety-aspects-of-design/

ALMIRAH-1 > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/09/11/almirah-1/

STORAGE CABINETS > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/storage-cabinets/

DOORS-SECONDARY HARDWARE > http://talking-interior-design.blogspot.in/2016/02/doors-secondary-hardware-latches-stays.html

DOORS – BASIC HARDWARE > http://talking-interior-design.blogspot.in/2016/01/door-basic-hardware.html

ANCIENT DOORS > http://talking-interior-design.blogspot.in/2014/05/ancient-doors.html

DOOR HINGES > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/door-hinges/

SLIDING DOORS > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/sliding-doors/

 WIDE DOORS and MULTIPLE DOORS > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/09/06/wide-doors-and-multiple-doors/

REACH in SPACE > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/10/18/reach-in-space/

MEANING of a WINDOW SILL > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/12/24/meaning-of-a-window-sill/

SHOP WINDOWS > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/12/12/shop-windows/

EVOLVING ARCHITECTURAL WINDOWS > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/evolving-architectural-windows/

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CLASSICAL WINDOW FORMS > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/classical-window-forms/

WITCH WINDOW > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/witch-window/

WINDOW TAX > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/08/08/window-tax/

MASKING of OPENINGS Part -III -Framing https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/masking-of-opening-part-iii-framing/

MASKING of OPENINGS Part -II https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/09/23/masking-of-openings-part-ii/

 MASKING of OPENINGS Part -I https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/08/30/masking-of-openings-part-I/

 

FRAMING of OPENINGS https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/08/04/framing-of-openings/

 

ARCHITECTURAL WINDOWS and VISION in-out

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/architectural-windows-and-vision-in-out/

 

ARCHITECTURAL WINDOWS and the MEANING

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/architectural-windows-and-the-meaning/

 

FRAMING of OPENINGS > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/08/04/framing-of-openings/

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DAYTIME INTERIOR ILLUMINATION -REALITY and PERCEPTION > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/daytime-interior-illumination-reality-and-perception/

 

LANTERNS in ARCHITECTURE > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/lanterns-in-architecture/

 

LEGENDS of OPENINGS-1 > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/legends-of-openings-1/

 

NATURE of OPENINGS > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/04/12/nature-of-openings/

 

OPENINGS in COLONIAL PERIOD of INDIA > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/openings-in-colonial-period-of-india/

 

ARCHITECTURAL WINDOWS and MECHANICS of VISION https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/architectural-windows-and-mechanics-of-vision/

 

GLASS and PERCEPTION https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/glass-and-perception/

 

LEVEL of OPENINGS https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/level-of-openings/

 

DESIGNING OPENINGS https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/designing-openings/

 

CLASSICAL WINDOW FORMS https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/01/27/classical-window-forms/

 

GLASS IN WINDOWS Part-II

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/10/02/glass-in-windows-part-%e2%80%a2-ii/

 

GLASS IN WINDOWS Part-I

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/09/28/glass-in-windows-part-%e2%80%a2-I/

 

CONTRAST EFFECT PERCEPTION

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/contrast-effect-perception/

 

THIRD DIMENSION of OPENINGS

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/third-dimension-of-openings/

 

SKY LIGHTS https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2016/07/15/sky-lights/

 

ARCHITECTURAL OPENINGS in LITERATURE > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2016/05/29/architectural-openings-in-literature/

 

DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS for DAY-LIGHTING > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2016/03/24/design-considerations-for-daylighting/

 

CLERESTORY OPENINGS > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/clerestory-openings/

 

CLASSES of OPENINGS > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/classes-of-openings/

 

STRUCTURES over DOORS > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/structures-over-doors/

 

OTHER TYPES of DOORS > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/other-types-of-doors/

 

SIZE of a DOOR > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/size-of-a-door/

 

JALOUSIE > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/06/29/jalousie/

LEVEL of OPENINGS > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/level-of-openings/

 

INTERIOR ILLUMINATION through DOORS > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/interior-illumination-through-doors/

 

DESIGNING OPENINGS > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/05/17/designing-openings/

 

MULLION > https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/mullion/

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TRANSGRESSING the BUILT FORM

Post 620 –by Gautam Shah

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Built form designing begins with a neatly defined geometric shape, and it evolves into a very complex form. The built form becomes an architectural adventure to gain new spaces, experiences and uses. The built forms are transgressed to the exterior for many different purposes. The purposes are to enlarge the interior space, open out the omni present sense of enclosure, bring in airiness of the exterior, enhance the built mass by stretching the internal and external surface areas, add a textural architectonic element, add thresholds or intervening spaces and provision of sideways view, aeration or daylight facilities.

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Puerta Principal del Catedral Basilica de Zacatecas > Wikipedia image by Juan Ignacio Chavez

Outward transgressions of the architectural elements occur as overt attachments or integrated additives. The attachments remain overt when these are visually very distinct, over emphatic in scale or treatment, and singular in presence. Integrated additives are multiple in numbers and so schematically well arranged, visually less apparent and diffused in scale or treatment.

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Gables at St Mary’s Church in Berlin > Wikipedia image by Bild : Ajepbah / Wikimedia Commons / Lizenz: CC-BY-SA-3.0 DE

Outward Transgressions and Projections are two different entities. The former enlarges the spread to add utilizable space, whereas the later, just stretch the space for weather shading. Transgressions have volumetric mass of space in comparison to Projections articulate buffer or threshold spaces. Projections undulate the surfaces as add-on or engraved-etched elements. Some of the common projecting elements of classical architecture include: Pilasters, engaged columns, entablature, pediments, friezes, rusticated masonry, foliated capitals, lintels, eaves and cornices.

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Frauenkirche, Dresden > Wikipedia image by SporkPhotos

Add-on elements are included in buildings for two main purposes: To vary the silhouette or the skyline, and to format terraces, which otherwise would have remained plain planes. Corbusier achieved both simultaneously. A skyline is made of translucent elements like lanterns, chhatris (umbrella shaped pavilions) canopies, cupolas, caboose (usually over inspection or guard’s wagon in railways), spires, gables etc.

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Corbusier Terrace > Flickr image by vincent desjardins

Buddhist temple courtyard in Qingyang, Chizhou, Anhui, China

Openings have been the most prolific space transgressing elements in buildings. Openings are stretched outward for view and illumination. The expanded form increases the surface area exposed to the exterior, and adds to the solar gain. In a warmer climate breeze is preferred to solar gain, and so devices like lattices, shading projections and smaller but spaced openings were used. Choice of view to the busy street, water body, or a private garden is preferred to any climatic orientation.

Transgression to courtyards

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Transgressed openings have of many forms. Openings stretch outward at floor level, increasing the interior floor space. Little higher from the floor level, allows formation of a raised sill, seat, or platform. High sill openings reduce the net available open gap but provide space for a study or craft console, or storage bureau. The head-side configurations of the projected gaps are different. These terminate at lower, human head or reach to the ceiling level.

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Zarokha at Nathmal ki Haveli, Jaisalmer, India > Wikipedia image Attribution Daniel VILLAFRUELA

Zarokhas are outwardly extended opening systems in India. These have derived from Gavaksh or Gokh (niche in the wall for storage or display). A zarokha is often called a baithak, a place for ‘sitting out’, though one remains in the privacy of the interior space. The Zarokha as an ornamental opening has a centric and dominant position in the room space and important part of external facade composition. Zarokhas are placed on terraces, passages, palaces, public buildings, residences, mosques and step-wells.

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Rani Rupamati Mosque Zarokha, Ahmedabad India > Wikipedia image by Bernard Gagnon

A typical zarokha, on the interior face, has a raised platform off the floor. The raised platform has one long front and two small width side faces. The face has two or more columns and is surrounded by short height tapering parapets. The projecting platform and the width of the wall, together provide sufficient width and depth for two or more people to share the space. The inner most face of Zarokha is masked by a bamboo strip roll curtain. The outer face of the wall may be open or latticed.

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 A Chhajja is an Indian shading device over any opening, like doors, windows, zarokhas or verandah and may cover plain walls for architectural continuity. Chhajjas reduce the sky component of solar radiation and reduce the glare. Mughal Chhajjas are inclined slabs of stones placed over the lintel stone, but super-loaded with some masonry and parapets. Wooden Chhajjas with intricately carved wood brackets are common in Pol houses of Gujarat. During British Raj Chhajjas of galvanized corrugated sheets supported over a wooden frame became a cheap and lightweight option for Bungalows and Government buildings. Chhajjas work like canvas awnings, but are heavier and more durable.

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Bay Window at Casa Pomar – Catlan Modernisme (1904-1906, Joan Rubio i Bellver) > Wikipedia image by Mutari

Bay or Bow windows are common on ground or upper floors. Bay windows are formed of three or five angled planes, whereas a bow window is a polygon or segment of a curve. In full bay windows the opening stretches from floor to ceiling level to add a seamless but shaped space to the room. In a part bay windows have a raised sill with a lower roof at a lintel level or topper blank bay. In the third version there is no bay or bow formation in the interior space, externally a shaped flower box projects out. In case of a bow window there is no parallel to the room, a middle window unit. Bow windows first appeared in the 18 C in England and in the Federal th period in the USA. Bow windows are also called compass window and radial bay windows.

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Corner window of Hauenschild palace in Olomouc (Czech Republic) Wikipedia image by Snek01

Oriel windows are a form of polygonal bay windows, but often placed at the corner of a building. Oriel windows, have a larger perimeter and so allow wider view of the outside. The projected bay is supported off the base-wall, or by columns, piers, corbels or brackets.

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Mashrabiya is an extended opening system, and was very a common entity in mid East or Arab architecture. Mashrabiyas have carved wood latticework and often stained glass.

Mashrabiyas were placed on street faces of upper floors of urban houses, but occasionally in palaces, public buildings such as hospitals, inns, schools and government buildings. Mashrabiya windows are presumed to have formed during 12th C in Baghdad. Iraq and Egypt are two countries where many examples survive. Such openings were introduced in France from the colonial sources, and called Moucharabieh.

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Mashrabiya openings in Muizz street Cairo District > Wikipedia image by Joonas Plaan from Tallinn Estonia

Mashrabiyas are enclosed with latticework of a lathe carved sections called bobbins. Lower sections of the opening are opaque or with denser lattice work. Lattice designs differ from region to region. Mashrabiya work as an independent enclosed balcony or as a space attached to a room. Egyptian Mashrabiyas project out at a slightly raised level, providing for a Dakkah (a Dakkah is also a masonry platform attached to the front part of a house, covered with a rug, it is used for informal talk and tea in Arab rural areas, an arrangement similar to Ota or Otla in a traditional Indian house). Mashrabiyas have been used for correcting the shape of upper floor front room.

The word Mashrabiya has varied origins. It denotes drinking or absorbing. The name perhaps has derived from a wood lattice enclosed shelf located near a window to cool the pots of drinking water. The shelf evolved until it became part of the room with a full enclosure. Mashrabiya also has originated from verb Ashrafa =to overlook, ignore or to observe.

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Mashrabiya Opening Old Cairo, Egypt >  Image on Flickr by Sam valadi

Shanashil (shanshool or rushan) is a porch, verandah or gallery like features covered with fine wood lattice work. It is found in old Iraqi houses of Baghdad. It is also a net or wood screen-covered verandah or porch over looking a street or garden.

 

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LINKS for MECHANICS of VISION

Post 619 –by Gautam Shah

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MASKING of OPENINGS Part -III -Framing
https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/masking-of-opening-part-iii-framing/

MASKING of OPENINGS Part -II
https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/09/23/masking-of-openings-part-ii/

MASKING of OPENINGS Part -I
https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/08/30/masking-of-openings-part-I/

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FRAMING of OPENINGS
https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2015/08/04/framing-of-openings/

ARCHITECTURAL WINDOWS and VISION in-out
https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/architectural-windows-and-vision-in-out/

ARCHITECTURAL WINDOWS and the MEANING
https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/architectural-windows-and-the-meaning/

ARCHITECTURAL WINDOWS and MECHANICS of VISION https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/architectural-windows-and-mechanics-of-vision/

GLASS and PERCEPTION

https://interiordesignassist.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/glass-and-perception/

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SKY LIGHTS

Post 616 –by Gautam Shah

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Skylight in Rotunda of Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro > Wikipedia image by anna carol from Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

Sky lights have been used in buildings for ages for sourcing natural light into deep set interiors of buildings. These are set atop a roof, as a clerestory between roofs, or high up in the wall. These openings are basically meant for illumination and ventilation, occasionally for observing stars and other celestial objects and for cultivating plants in protected spaces. Such openings are minuscule size holes to very large gaps, often covering the room’s entire surface. Skylights allow maximum sky-component (SC) compared to any other opening system.

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Roof light Complex of Sultan Qalawun (1284) as Mausoleum, Madrasa and Maristan, Cairo, Egypt > Wikipedia image by Ahmed Al. Badawy from Cairo, Egypt

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The Ras el-Tin Palace in 1931 Alexandria, Egypt > Wikipedia image Attribution: Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-12201 /  CC-BY-SA3.0

In early periods such gaps were open or covered with a fabric, lattice, wooden slats or louvres. It was with the use of glass that such gaps became fixed-transparent panes. Roof-light openings with wood frames required frequent repair-replacements, and were not weather tight. During Victorian Era, with metal construction, skylights became very popular. Virtually every urban row house of the late 19th and early 20th C relied on a metal-framed skylight to illuminate the enclosed stairwells.

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Large skylight Star Ferry Pier Hong Kong > Wikipedia image by VictoriaDFong

Skylights are were shaped as a pyramid because glass panes were flat. Very large skylights were designed with a structural geometry of curved half cylinders or domes, made from smaller units. These mainly bulged outward towards the sky for rain water drainage. Roof window or day lighting began to be flat or single-double curved structures with pre-formed toughened glass plates, plastics and fiber composites. Inverted daylights bulging inward into the interior volume are made from plastics and fiber constructions. Daylight tubes are inverse lights, as an inward projection of a reflective tube or a bottle.

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Argentina Industrial Shed Roof lights > Wikipedia image

 Roof Lanterns were once very popular as interior and exterior illumination systems. These were timber-framed structures, usually octagonal, polygonal or circular in shape, placed as a crown over a turret or dome of a building to admit light. The lanterns’ structures were initially filled with wood slats (louvres) but later covered with glass. These were tall and thin volume multi pane glass structures. Roof Lantern or steeple lights during the day brought in shadow less illumination into the interior space. The lantern structures over the topmost point or pinnacle of a roof, glowed at night with little illumination inside the buildings. The glowing lanterns marked the presence of the building in the dark night-scape.

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Roof Lantern over Dome of Florence Baptistry 1150 AD > Wikipedia image by Richardfabl

 Roof Lanterns have derived from Orangeries, structures first built in 16th C in France and Italy. An orangery is similar to a conservatory or greenhouse. It is generally located in the free ground of an estate or building. The name reflects the original use of the building as a place where citrus trees like orange were often wintered in tubs under cover, for surviving through harsh frosts, though not expected to flower and fruit.

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Orangeries originated from the Renaissance gardens of Italy. The orangeries became fashionable in ordinary residences of France, Germany and the Netherlands. Early orangeries had large windows but opaque roofs. Glazed roofs were developed in the early 19th C. Early orangeries, as existed in Great Britain and France in 16th C, were buildings that could be covered by planks and sacking and heated in the cold season by stoves.

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Pavilion of remaining part of Old Municipal Market 1903 of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil > Wikipedia image by Stella Dauer from Sao Bernardo Brasil

During the Georgian era, buildings with large footprints (floor area), the interiors were dim and dark even on sunny days, and in absence of electric or gaslight candle power was the only source of illumination. Roof lanterns were used to illuminate the stairwell landings and other areas of home. The key element of a lantern, the glass was hand made and very expensive, limiting the use of roof lanterns in the homes of elite.

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The Crystal Palace built for the Great Exhibition of 1851 inspired people for greater use of glass in roof structures of buildings, and the Industrial revolution provided the necessary affluence and technology. Modern Roof lanterns were used for illuminating domestic billiard rooms, reception rooms and kitchens, and in public buildings such as hotels, in places of education, town halls and public libraries.

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Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, London, estb 1759 / Palm house built 1844-48 > Wikipedia image by DAVID ILLEF. Licence: CC-BY-SA 3.0

DORMER WINDOW: A dormer is an attic window located in the sloping gable roof, on the main face of the building. A dormer is an extension of the attic and provides accessible or functional height right to the front edge of the room, which is used for placing a bed or study unit. The roof over a dormer is slopped cross way from the slope of the main roof. The dormer windows are design-matched with the window of a lower floor, creating an impression of a taller window, both from outside as well as inside. Dormers add a visual interest to the nominally plain gable roof surface. In England when fire laws did not permit architectural projections such as eaves, etc., the front wall was extended as a parapet to cover up the roof end. The parapet was articulated with embattlements, crenels, embrasures and dormers. Wall dormers are lower floor windows extended up to roof, parapet top, or even higher, as a true or dummy window, with all features of an highly ornamental window surrounds. False or blind dormers were added to visually balance roof-leveled other appendages, like chimneys, lanterns etc. Dormer openings are also called a doghouse, because the form of the dormer resembles the pet-house. Attic level barn windows shaped like a dormer used for taking in or out hay are called hay-windows.

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Dormer Windows Dunstaffnage Castle. Argyll and Bute Scotland > Wikipedia image by Otter

Types of Dormer windows: A gable dormer, has sloped roofs on both sides. A hipped dormer has a roof sloping on three sides including front. An insert dormer is set back from the sloping edge of the roof so has some sloping roof on its front bottom side. A turret dormer has multi angled hipped roof. A French segmental dormer has lower floor window continuing above by breaking the line of roof eaves. A fanlight dormer and Eyebrow dormer has rounded top window. A shed or lean-to dormer has single slope roof. An extended shed dormer has roof line extending beyond the main roof line. An all glass contemporary dormer has all sides formed of fixed glass or jalousie.

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Dormer at Chateau d’Azay-le-Rideau > Wikipedia image by LonganimE

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Vimana Architecture (Lit. Aeroplane =light airy structure at top) > Wikipedia image by Onef9day

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ARCHITECTURAL OPENINGS in LITERATURE

 Post 608 by Gautam Shah

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Doors, Gates, Windows, and Gaps express the concept of transition from one state of existence to another. Likewise Passageways, Bridges, Ducts, also serve the chief function of transition, and other functions of openings by means of barricading, demarcating and framing. Some words, such as in and out, from and to, through, etc., denote entry-exit from a space. Similarly components like portals, jambs, lintels, arches, door-heads, thresholds, eves, gateways, sill, etc. singly or with their natural affinitive relationships also represent the opening system.

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Masai house door Flickr image by Kenya John Atherton

The openings have a natural simultaneity of two faces, and so are dilemmatic in affectations. Janus, the Roman God of doors was a two-faced person. In literature the duality has been used to elaborate or prolong the process of conclusive action. The openings are natural or enforced edges. The openings manifest over the edges recognizing the domains of distinctions on either side. The division, is made recognizable through superlative structures like fort-walls, abutments, portals, dykes, bunds, piers, moats, barricades, etc.

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In literature, on crossing an edge, change manifests. The change is seen through the scenic depiction, and also by psychical referencing. The literary-constructs present 3-way experience, of being on one or the other face, and the state of being into neither of these. The paired reality of inside and outside, or existing on one side versus the other side, creates a threshold or a Rekha (a line). The line is so thin that one has to be on one or the other side of it. But architectural entities have three-dimensional constructs, and so provide an intervening space or an Antarvedi*.

Hemchandracharya, (a Jain saint and scholar of Patan, Gujarat, India, 1088-1173) referred to such a situation as Antarvedi* (a space between two realms or a verandah). Such a condition occurs in case of Doab (a land between two water bodies -such as Punjab-India). Antarvedi is also a village situated at the Bay of Bengal and Vashista Godavari, a tributary of the Godavari River in Andhra, India.

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Antarvedi -a verandah at Kalleshwara Temple Hadagali, Bellary district Karnataka India > Wikipedia image by Dineshkannambadi

 ‘Often crossing a threshold, real or implied, shifts us between safety of the known and anxiety of the unknown. Thus, working on literal and symbolic levels simultaneously, the doors and other openings offer, both, the physical reality of protection, and represent the psychological idea of safety. To stand upon the threshold permits contemplation before committing to circumstances, which once taken, may not be undone. On crossing a threshold, there is no going back to what was.’

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Pax ingrangibus salus exeuntibus (peace to those who arrive, safety to those who leave) Tyntesfield Wraxall N Somerset England Flickr image by Peter Reed

A Latin phrase, ‘Pax intrantibus, salus exeuntibus’ (or ‘Intrantibus pax, exeuntibus salus’) is an ancient inscription, seen at the entrances of Benedictine monasteries, schools, inns, on gates, and at the front door or vestibule of private homes. This is translated in English: ‘Peace to those who enter, good health (or safety) to those who depart’. It states that whatever is within, is familiar and so likely of security, in comparison to what exists beyond the unknown and dangerous. This is at a complete variance from Tolkien’s (author of Lords of the rings, etc.) as he inverts the usual association of ‘being inside’ with safety, and ‘being outside’ with danger. The insides are friends and relatives who could be treacherous, but on outsides one must be on guard of the enemies. It is only by venturing outside and crossing the edge that we come to know our true selves.

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In the Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and other writings, the expansive Greenwood the Great was called Mirkwood > Wikipedia image by Dominik Matus

J R R Tolkien frequently refers to a door, window, gate, or other passageways to convey a change in a character’s physical, metaphysical or metaphorical state. Tolkien’s dark woodland imagery is tunnel-like juxtaposed with the open land forest. Entering a forest (as is entering into water, caves, and barrows) is like going into a dark unknown, and coming out, is gaining knowledge and confidence. Tolkien gave as much attention to literary descriptions as much to visual treatments (sketches and paintings) of the doorways, gates, windows and thresholds. In his landscape sketches, the focal point is almost always a doorway or other opening.

DOOR and the IDEA of BECOMING : One of the metaphorical meanings of doorways and openings in Tolkien’s work conveys the idea of ‘becoming’. As one passes through the doorway and enters a new stage of development or experience, having gained the ‘key’ necessary to move forward, one ‘becomes’ something more—more capable, more perceptive, more knowledgeable. Although, we often cling to our comfort zone, it is only by venturing outside our experience that we come to know our true selves. In other words, we must cross the thresholds that paradoxically lead us both outward and inward to a deeper understanding of our strengths and weaknesses and recognition of our relationships with the cosmos, just like Tolkien’s fish out of water.

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An opening is perceived to be parallel to the gravity entity so in-out or exit-entry occur on a horizontal plane, but never up-down or over-under. Going down (or up) a stair or hill, do not signify the ‘door or the gate’. Even for the gate to heaven or hell the door is always parallel to the gravity. Going down is compared to entering or leaving a womb. The transition is never up (to heaven) or down (to hell). Going down happens for the burial tomb or dungeon for imprisonment. But openings may not take one outside or inside, such as the Japanese Torri Gates.

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Japanese Torri gate at Itsukushima shrine > Wikipedia image by Rdsmith4

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Going down ‘in to a womb’ > Wikipedia image by Alex Proimos from Sydney Australia

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DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS for DAYLIGHTING

Post 593 by Gautam Shah

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Daylighting is illuminating the interiors of built spaces with the sunlight, as available during the sun up period. This is controlled entry of natural light and diffuse skylight into a building to reduce electric lighting and saving energy. The ‘direct’ daylight arrives through openings like doors, windows, skylights and other gaps. Indirect daylight is brought in as Diffused sky light from surface reflectors or Transmitted light through tubes and other devices.

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Haveli Courtyard, Near begum Samru’s palace > Flickr image by Varun Shiv Kapur

Daylighting depends on the external conditions, such as the season of the year, climate, dust, fog or cloud cover, time of the day, terrain or surroundings. Daylight can be designed through buildings, size (spread or massing, depth, floor heights), form or shape, orientation, scheduling and location of tasks, configurations of openings, etc. It is closely linked to saving energy used for lighting during daytime. Daylight is substantially dependent on openings like doors and windows, and this help creates stimulating and natural environment.

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Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Mumbai Departure area > Wikipedia image by Nancy Beaton

Daylighting is dependent on external conditions. The season of the year determines not only the ‘sunshine’ days and brightness, but the direction (solar inclination) of the light. The climatic conditions govern if fenestrations can be kept fully open or closed. Local atmospheric conditions like dust, fog, cloud cover and pollution affect the intensity of daylight. Activities must be scheduled according to the diurnal cycle and positioned as per the available exposure. The surroundings’ factors, such as the terrain slopes, colour (of white sand beach fronts, green lawns or foliage, water bodies), and reflective capacities determine the brightness level of illumination.

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Sahara Town Ghadames Libya > Wikipedia image by Luca Galuzzi http://www.galuzzi.it

Daylighting and building design, have mutual dependence. The exposure of the face, surface area, perimeter and form of the buildings can be advantageously exploited for better gain of daylight.

Daylighting for energy saving must be conceived with a view to reduce the artificial illumination requirements of deep-set spaces, low height spaces, isolated interior entities like vestibules and corridors. A synergetic system to calibrate the electric illumination can be created for task-need and occupancy of the space, compensative distribution (elimination of glare-contrasts) and low heat output.

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High sill windows Abbaye d’Acey Jura France > Wikipedia image by Arnaud 25

Fenestrations and Daylighting are linked. Fenestration location (wall, skylights), height, shape and construction affect the daylighting. Fenestrations also serve the purpose of comfort (ventilation requirements such as heat gain-loss, air-moisture control, interior pollutant dilution, air movements) and view in-out, so must incorporate these requirements.

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Daylight used for illuminating interior spaces, exploits the ever-changing quality in terms of intensity, colour and direction of the light. The daylight-design, scatters the light over a wider extent, diffuses its intensity and subdues the strong directionality, alters the colour quality, and shifts the location of the source.

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Screening for daylight and view Wikipedia image by Margaret Bourke-White

Light intensity is a function of season, orientation and fenestration design. These are important considerations for siting an activity. Light intensity is perceived against the brightness level of the background scene or the surfaces. It can also be altered by illumination from other directions or additional artificial sources.

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Tony Rich Training Centre Uni of Essex Consistent illumination by skylight and support by electric light> Wikipedia image by Rwendland

Colour of the daylight as reflected sky component have small colour variations, except the occasional colour scattering at sun rise and set periods. Daylight received from reflected surfaces such as terrain, near by buildings and plants has a colour tinge. The colour of the glazing material, colour of the opening cover systems like Venetian blinds, curtains, overlay films, etc. side-surfaces of fenestration systems.

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Colours of the surroundings > Flickr image by Darron Birgenheier

Direction of the light is an important consideration for ingress or avoidance direct sunlight. North light (South light in S-hemisphere), are designed to access best natural illumination for industrial plants. East side facing openings allow ‘cool’ brightness in comparison to West faces.

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Darker surface does not equalize the light > Pixabay image

Scattering the light over a wider area achieves equal brightness by avoiding high-low contrast or patchy areas. This is done by multiple openings or by masking the opening with diffuser screens. Scattering is avoided where dramatic effects are intentionally created such as vestibules, entrance halls, etc. Equalization of illumination in space is also achieved by electronic sensors that activate electric illumination in required intensity.

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Taliesin West drafting studio illumination > Wikipedia image by Steven C. Price

Diffusing the intensity of light is resorted to reduce the high level of brightness on summer or clear sky afternoon periods. This is done by automatic masking devices or by baffles or louvers with apertures attuned to non-bright exposure-directions and schedules. Diffusers are also used to reduce the level of brightness in areas that act as transition spaces to darker environments such as auditoriums.

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Strong light source and contrast > Pixabay image (of woman by window)

Calibrating a strong sense directionality with illumination is necessary to reduce the dynamism of direct natural illumination. Architectural openings like doors and windows bring in variations of brightness (movement of clouds), shadows of moving objects (trees, vehicles, other traffic), and variations of colours into the interior spaces. This changeability is often an irritant for work areas like laboratories, libraries, bedrooms, etc. By sourcing the daylight from multiple directions, the illumination can be made static and multilateral.

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Contrast reduced by additional illumination from side openings >Window at the East end of Choir in Month of Feb, Wells Cathedral Somerset > Wikipedia image by IDS.photos from Tiverton, UK

Altering the colour quality where colour perception is important such as in surgical and pathological areas of hospitals, colour and dye manufacturing plants, film and media editing rooms. Here not only the colour must be neutral but consistent. This is achieved by avoiding light reflected from external sources, such as pavings, walls and lawn or green foliage.

Shift the location of the source is important for space planning design at micro level. The available natural source may have strong left or right, up or down delineation and may need the shift of illumination location. This is done by external and internal reflecting surfaces or use of light transmission tubes.

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MASKING of OPENINGS Part – I

Post 507 – by Gautam Shah

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Wikipedia Outside Looking In Author Stephen Kelly

Masking is an overlay over any opening like a window, door or gap. The overlay could be an additional system, opportunistic exploitation of surroundings, or an arrangement of perception. The masking of opening is a facilitation through transitional delay in time and space creating partial or complete disguise through shielding, blurring, selective camouflage or obscuration. Functionally, transitions through the openings are controlled, directed or curtailed through with use physical elements and effects are added or subtracted by sensory processes.

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Primary masking occurs, on how an opening is framed within a barrier system. The opening occurs as a cut, puncture, or cleavage within a barrier, or at the overlapping edges of two barriers. Masking becomes effective with the scale of the opening in comparison to the size or extent of the barrier. A smaller opening and an extensive barrier, both create an ’imposing’ framing’. The framing of built openings need a heading or lintel, and to support the head and super structures, sides are abutted with additional structures. Such side structures or portals add to the framing of the opening. Built opening require controller of transitions like ‘shutters’, and these require jambs, frames or stoppers. In arched and angled portals, for functional reasons door framing structures are square headed, creating shape-masking. The shutter devices have some technological limitations like a door cannot be two wide, or else it sags or deforms. It cannot be too extensive in size as the wood or metals did not permit very large shutters. These factors imposed scale-masking.

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5954526577_e5a96560e0_zNatural and built gaps gain importance on what view they frame. The view could be the rising or setting sun, a mountain range or valley beyond, a water body, or a plaza, street or roof tops. Where such views are not straight aligned or perfectly frontal, the viewing position is architecturally adjusted or furniture layout is attuned to it. The view curiosity is build up by denying the view till one arrives at the perfect place. The masking of view out or inward is done through real or make-believe depths formed by repetition of series of identical, receding or increasing frames. Such multiple masking frames occur in colonnades, corridors, passages, avenues and walkways.

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FRAMING of OPENINGS

Post 490  –by Gautam Shah

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Openings systems like gaps, doors, and windows are see-through entities. These are transit routes for many purposes. The openings are framed and masked with supplementary elements to doctor the transition taking place. The transitions to be proctored are two-way of people, other beings, goods, illumination, view, privacy, air-ventilation, moisture, rains, snow, dust, smell, noise, etc. Other purposes include, imposition of patterns, grids, proportions, contrasts, styles, make or break monotony of compositions, create or diffuse focuses.

Corner point view from Flatiron Building NY > Wikipedia pic by Author : nautical2k

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Framing is distinct from Masking of openings, though at some level they assimilate to serve the similar purposes. Framing is an obvious characteristic of an opening. Openings have their sides and mid members within the view cone depending on the point of observation. In high-rise buildings where an exterior surface is formed of many and extensive windows framing of openings in a coordinated grid and may follow the discipline of the structure, or ignore it, and mount a false facade.

Gate d’Amboise in the Old town of Rhodes, Greece >Pic Author : Bernard Gagnon Wikipedia

The main gate, Schloss Belvedere, Vienna

An opening or a gap, be it a natural one or formed into built-form, has an implicit frame. The frame is defined by the strong surroundings, and through the depth of the gap or passage. For framing, natural openings have only sides and no head, but in built form openings, the head and threshold, both are as essential as the sides. Framing delineates an opening. Gates have dominant bastions to frame its importance. Egyptian temple doors have abutting pylons. Gothic doors are framed with several layers of receding serrations. The frame not only delineates an opening but enhances its size manifold. Fatehpur Sikri Mosque, India, has a real entry door of human scale, but that has been framed by very large portal. Architraves, borders, trims, casings, beading and masonry elements such as pilasters are used to reinforce the framing.

Buland Darwaza gate to Jami mosque, Fatehpur Sikiri, India. Pic Author: Marcin Bialek Wikipedia

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Framing effect of opening is enhanced by highlighting the depth-sides. The sides are fluted, serrated or panelled, vaulted or chamfered to increase the surface area. The opening structures such as the frame are placed either on outside or inside the edge to increase the effect of bounding. The exterior niches get enhanced due to deeper shadows in locations where Sun is usually bright. Interior bays must be matched with interior space making elements. Strong interior bay of openings disturb the wall mural painting. Interior alcoves in clerestory openings are not preferred as these arrangement forms highly articulated an interior surface, often diffusing the importance of architectural elements like domes, vaults, etc.

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Windows of Secretariat Building Le Corbusier Chandigarh India

Openings are framed to capture, enhance or specify a view, both outside and inside. The framing here works like a mask to mould the view. Nominally a landscape has three horizontal segments, consisting of view down of terrain, straight taking in the horizon and upwards capturing the sky. These three are modelled in the opening gap by way of actual framing or metaphoric clues. View-out presents a wide spectrum, and to model it from an interior focal point is difficult for modelling or framing, however view-in a fixed and narrow scene, framing is easier, provided in-view is brighter like of Chowk or courtyard.

Inside the 360 Restaurant in the CN Tower Wikipedia

Jeronimos Monastery Lisbon Portugal

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LEGENDS of OPENINGS -3 Door and the Sun

Post 481 –by Gautam Shah

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Sun Temple

The Door and the Sun are omnipresent in this world. The Sun relates to the horizon, from where it appears. And the Door in spite of its portal of sides and threshold is held by the lintel head. The skyline is a reachable limit, but the lintel head makes a door godly or human. For Gods, the threshold is inessential but for mortals it is ubiquitous hurdle and challenge. The sun rises at the edge of the earth, at different points and time, but its reincarnation is inevitable, yet reassuring. Mystically the sun opens the door with a new day of changed fortunes.

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Helios Greek God on Chariot (Greco-Roman mythology) NW pediment of temple of Athena in Ilion (Troy)

The sun takes many forms of travel across the sky, some realistic and other symbolic. Sun flies like an eagle, swims like a crocodile, drifts like a tortoise, ride a regal chariot with seven horses, floats with a boat or glides on the light rays. The sun’s passage has also been represented through flying, moving and rotating objects such as the wheel or dharma chakra, flag, toran, festoons, light mobile objects and shiny metal spirals. The sun’s rises in distant hills, ocean or landmarks but its arrival is celebrated as a passage through some built-forms such as an opening, gate, portal, arch, door, a colonnade of pillars or obelisks.

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Japanese Sun Goddess Amaterasu emerging from a cave or opening bringing out sunlight back to Universe

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Pharaoh Akhenaten and family worshiping the opening, the Aten with rays emanating from the solar disk

The Chariot of Greek solar deity Helios

Helios, a Greek solar deity drove a fiery chariot through the heaven by day, but at night floated back across the ocean in a golden bowl. The Egyptian Ra. swept across the sky in the sun-boat. The Japanese Sun, the king of nature comes like a bird, and roots over the bent beams of the Tori gate.

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Early Egyptian places of worship were entered through a cleavage formed by parallel pylons. It had set of shuttered doors at the bottom, just of height to conceal the magical ceremony preparations. The lower shuttered portion was for the mortals, but upper section was left open for the Sun god to enter. Ordinary mortals need a threshold, a mark of opening, but an ethereal god like Sun or Ra. needs no threshold. The god Ra. enters from high up so required no lintel or door head.

Ra in his solar boat

Egyptian’s temples and tombs had two openings: the East and the West one. The East door was real, for the dead body and soul to arrive. But the West door was a false or make-believe entity, known as ‘Ka door’. It allowed the Ka (the soul) to pass through onto an eternal journey. The False door was not a replica of the real door, but a metaphoric presentation of exit or departure. It had an offering niche, for real and imitative offerings, a stela with hieroglyphic inscriptions that contained the wishes for the afterlife and prayers or entreaty. It was a threshold between the world of the living and the dead.

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False Door

Peruvian people, believe in a prophesy that God will appear in the light ship through the portal called ‘Gate of the God. It is a gateway to the lands of the Gods. The legend tells about heroes who had gone through it for a new life of immortality, and occasionally return to check the affairs of the kingdom.

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Peru Door of the God

The idea of return fills the mortals with hopes. A door is duality of two heads of Janus (the God of doors), as that of Sun and Moon. A door is as much for departure, as for return, or as in Sanskrit for Aagaman and Nirgaman. But life after death is uncertain, so complete your home duties before you step out and accomplish your tasks before you step in the door. Christ says ’small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it’ (Matthew 7:14).

Inspiration for Mid Lands

Author J.R.R. Tolkien (of Hobbit, 37, Lord of the Rings and Silmarillion) talks of Door of Night and Door of the Day.

The Sun was to pass through the Door of Night as it travelled above Arda. When the Sun passed through the Door, night would fall upon Middle-earth. The Moon would then rise from its resting place and continue on its path over the Earth. The Sun would traverse the border of the Wall of the World, re-entering the world in the East, at the Gates of Morning. At the same time the Moon would be sinking in the West and a new day would begin’.

Gateway of the Sun from the Tiwanku civilization in Bolivia (restored version)

Rear view 1903

Sun God Image over Door Head

Dharma Chakra Sanchi India

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A high level object reveals the arrival of sun. It could be a dynamic object flying in the air and scintillating in the golden dawn, or static, gilded and decorated door head. The moving Dharma-Chakra of the Buddhist temples and stupas and over a Stambha -pillar had this purpose. Sun rays also shined the metal-clad tops of tall obelisks. It also lit up the moving flags, torans and festoons. The door heads had Sun, symbolically as eagles, rayed globe or heads. A Canton tomb door head is sculpted with the sun rising from the clouds. A falcon headed sun god Horus, after a battle with darkness took the shape of a human-headed lion, the sphinx or ‘sun on the horizon.’

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LEGENDS of OPENINGS -2 God of doors -JANUS

Post 457 –by Gautam Shah

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Janus-VaticanIn Roman mythology, Janus was the god of gates, doors, doorways, beginnings, and endings. Janus symbolized change and transitions such as: the progression of past to future, of one condition to another, of one vision to another, and of one universe to another. He represented the middle ground between barbarity and civilization, rural country and urban cities, and youth and adulthood. He was worshipped at the beginnings of all events like planting and harvesting, births, marriages, etc. The cult of Janus dates back to a period even before founding of Rome. Janus has no equivalent god in Greek mythology.

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The oldest lists of Roman gods began with Janus. He was surnamed ‘divom deus’, an ancient Latin form meaning ‘the god’s god’. Lord Ganesh, elephant headed God of Indian mythology has many similarities with Janus. Ganesh is the presiding deity, and first to be invoked in all ceremonies. Presence of Ganesh is considered auspicious for all beginnings and is symbolically represented at the door-head. Ganesh is called Devadhi-Dev or God of the gods.

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Presence of Janus is invoked at the beginning of each ceremony, regardless of god they want to pray to or placate.of the main deity. He is required as he holds the access to Heaven and to other gods. Janus is the initiator of human life, harvest, planting, marriages, deaths and financial enterprises. Janus has relevance spatial changes like home doors, city gates and boundaries.

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Rome had many freestanding ceremonial gates (‘jani’) that were marks of auspicious beginnings, departure and return from victory, as entrance and exit. One of the famous jani, Janus-Geminus was a shrine at the north side of the forum.

Temple_Janus_Autun_31640px-Autun_Temple_Janus_PA00113101_01_JPMJanus was depicted with two faces looking in opposite directions. Some believe Janus represents sun and moon. ‘Janus Geminus’ -Bifrons the two-faced Janus was replaced by -Quadrifrons the four-faced Janus, by emperor Domitian. The two-sided gates began to be four faced structures. Four forums were erected such as, Forum of Peace, Forum Transitorium, Forum of Julius Caesar, and Roman Forum.

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Four sided Buddha Head

A Typical Janus temple had a square room, a dual faced Janus statue or bust in the center, and two doors, (called Gates of war or peace) on opposite sides. The main street or forum side door (some claim both the doors) was kept open during war, so that he could easily intervene. The doors and gates were closed during peace. ‘The gates were closed to keep the War in’, or as stated exactly opposite by Ovid and Horace, ‘it is Peace that is kept inside the temple of Janus’. Symbolically Janus is represented by a Key.

Temple of Janus

Janus is remembered for the month of January. The fingers of Janus’ hands were placed in strange positions, which Pliny interpreted as an indication of the number 355, a reference to the number of days of the oldest Roman calendar. It is also suggested that origin of the name of the Italian city of Genoa is a derivation of Janus.

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GateOfAugustus

Concept of Holy duality Multi plurality is common across many cultures and religions. The duality represents alter ego or two facets of beliefs. Duality occurs in physical forms with two facets like sides of the path, doors or contradicting positions like heaven-hell. Many Indian Gods have such double (Dvi-Mukha or Anga like dwarpal -the doorkeepers), triple (Tri-Mukha like Brahma and Dattatreya) or four-way forms (Chatur-Mukha).

ArdhNarishwer Half Shiv Half Parvati

Janus derives from Lānus (Latin) or Ianua =arched passage, doorway, from Proto-Italic Iānu =door, and Proto-Indo-European Jeh nu =passage. It is cognate with Sanskrit yāti (jati) =to go, travel, Lithuanian Jóti =to go, ride, or Serbo-Croatian Jàhati =to go. Iānus expresses the idea of going, passing, formed on the root ya’

ART by Louis Boullogne the Younger 1681

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