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Windows with hidden frames are a symbol of modern architecture

24 of April '23

Large glazing area from Aluprof.
From the series "Windows, doors, fittnigs, covers—trends 2023"

Glazing that occupies entire wall surfaces is known mainly from movies with action placed in sunny California. However, it so happens that the hidden-frame windows used to achieve such an effect have been used for years in dozens of buildings around the world. Has this trend become a symbol of modern architecture?

A brief history of windows with a hidden frame

Huge areas of glazing that fill entire walls not only perfectly illuminate rooms, but also provide the impression of a larger space. Thanks to the fact that the interior, as it were, merges with what is behind the window, we have the impression that the rooms stretch almost to infinity.

However, he is mistaken who thinks that windows with a hidden frame that reach from floor to ceiling are an invention of recent years. As the history of this trend shows, it began much earlier, as early as the 1930s.

It was then that the famous French architect—Le Corbusier—designed one of his greatest works, the Immeuble Molitor apartment building at 24 Nungesser-et-Coli St. This building, after its completion in 1934, became the world's first apartment building with a completely glazed facade.

Many prominent representatives of the modernist trend in architecture followed in the architect's footsteps. Worth mentioning here are Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, author of 860-880 Lake Shore Drive in Chicago and the Seagram Building in New York, among others, which are the prototypes of today's skyscrapers. Not insignificant are also the works of Richard Neutra, whose portfolio includes a school project where, thanks to the use of sliding glass walls, the garden growing behind the window was an extension of the classrooms.

The large area of glazing gives the buildings a lightness and a modern, minimalist character. This trend has become a permanent feature of commercial real estate projects, among others, created with glass facades that let in plenty of natural sunlight. This is because it is not only of aesthetic importance, but also allows for a considerable reduction in the operating costs of buildings.

Taras z domem nad jeziorem. Konin, Polska.

Terrace with lake house. Konin, Poland.—Systems used: MB-86 ST, MB-SR50N. Design: arch. Hugon Kowalski

© Aluprof

Windows with hidden frame and ecology

The trend of using windows with a hidden frame is almost 100 years old, but it has turned out to be so universal that, according to many specialists in the construction industry, it has become somewhat of a symbol of modern, ecological construction. This is because the use of large glazing brings with it a number of advantages that can benefit property owners and users.

The first, basic advantage is the aforementioned adequate amount of natural light that reaches the rooms and perfectly illuminates apartments and workplaces. This makes it much less necessary to illuminate interiors with artificial light, which in turn also contributes to reducing the cost of electricity consumed.

The second important reason why concealed-frame windows are a great choice for modern and eco-friendly building projects is their high degree of thermal insulation. This, in turn, makes the interior of the building even better protected from overheating or cooling, and consequently reduces the need for energy to power ventilation and air conditioning systems.

The third important element that has an impact on ecology is the materials used to make modern concealed-frame window systems. These include aluminum—a durable and weather-resistant metal that allows the construction of durable window frames that can withstand even the weight of large glazings. And most importantly, it is fully recyclable allowing it to be used in subsequent construction projects years later.

Aluprof, which has a number of window and door systems with hidden frames in its portfolio, has specialized in the production of such solutions. These include the MB-Skyline Type R system, which allows the creation of large surface sliding doors used, for example, in private homes. This solution is characterized by a very good coefficient of thermal insulation, so it effectively protects against the heating of the interior in the summer months, as well as its rapid cooling on colder days. In order to make even better use of the thermal possibilities, the system cooperates with Skyflow façade blinds providing protection from excessive sunlight.

MB-Skyline Type R od Aluprof

MB-Skyline Type R from Aluprof

© Aluprof

Let's build a better future

Windows with a concealed frame are a trend that has certainly established itself in modern architecture for good. This is related not only to the opportunities currently provided by the glazed facades of buildings, but also to the technologies that are capable of working effectively in the future. As part of its green building development strategy, Aluprof is testing solutions to ensure that buildings using their solutions reduce their carbon footprint until they achieve full climate neutrality. The introduced photovoltaic skylight built on the basis of the MB-SR50N EI window system allows us to hope that the technology of obtaining electricity from the sun will make it possible in the coming years to use transparent cells also in the southern facades of buildings.

This could mean that the popularization of the trend of using windows with concealed frames will contribute to even more effective construction of energy self-sufficient commercial and private buildings. And this, in turn, will have a not inconsiderable impact on slowing down the climate change we are currently facing.

For more information, visit the company's {tag:Producenci} page on the PdA portal.

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