Post 186 –by Gautam Shah



Interior of the Cube Houses, Rotterdam, Procince of South Holland, Netherlands

Buildings are tilted, often intentionally for de-constructionist attitudes or for doing something bizarre. In such buildings, though walls, roofs, etc. may change, but there are many other elements, such as floors, openings, stairs, etc. that must remain steadfast and operatable. These entities, though find a place as dysfunctional surrogates. Some impose highly moulded peripheral items to enforce a ‘change’(Gaudi) or cover-up such mandatory items with skin (Dresden cinema) that is easier to mould.

Ufa Cinema Centre Dresden Kolossos

Gaudi's Casa Batllo Barcelona Spain -Masked windows


The Cube Houses in Rotterdam, The Netherlands viewed from Blaak Subway Station Wikipedia Image by Raul Ayres

The ‘Vermont window’ often known as witch window, coffin window, lazy window, or simply a sideways window were not borne out of a modernist attitude or a desire for doing something different. It was rather a practical well-fit-in solution. It is normally a double-hung sash window or a single-sided casement window, placed in the gable-end wall of a house-roof. Its placement matches the slope-angle of the roof -usually at 45°. The window fits in gable side small space between the normal roof and its raised portion. Roofs have dormer windows for attic spaces.

A Vermont or witch window, Irasville, Vermon Piledhigheranddeeper at English Wikipedia

witch on broom

Vermont windows are called Witch windows, no one knows with surety, for why? It is not clear what preceded the window or the myth that relates it to the witch. The myth relates to a belief that a witch cannot fly with the broomsticks through a tilted opening.

coffin window or Vermont window

Vermont windows are also called Coffin windows. The position of the window at second floor level, its width and inclined position will not ever allow removal of a coffin, even if one want to avoid a very narrow staircase.

Vermont windows are found in farmhouses from the 19th C, and Vernacular architecture of central and northern parts of Vermont State of USA.

Toronto Royal Ontario Museum1

Window forms are governed by Flat Glass plates. Glass can be curved in the single plane, but multi planer deformations are difficult. And even if, such manipulations are possible, the visual clarity remains an issue. Visually clear materials are few, like the stiff acrylics and few other polymers in flexible sheet forms. S0 perhaps both, the flexible and visually clear (defects free) materials and suitable shape-form will arrive simultaneously. Alternatively some new innovation will allow a technological quantum jump with a radically different opening system.