|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 75, Tuesday, July 7, 2009|
Windows are a frame for view; we need them in order to thrive physically as well as spiritually. The main function of a window is to let in daylight, and most can be opened for ventilation and closed to reduce heat loss and to keep out weather. Ideally, they ought to be both aesthetically pleasing and energy-efficient.
This week we look at the window's frame and shutter. Windows are also architecture. The three essential parts of a window are the sash, the frame and the lights.
The sash is the framework that surrounds the glass. Sometimes a window is divided into smaller panes. They hold the small pieces of glass within the sash.
The frame is the part of the window built into the wall to receive the sash. The top of the frame is called the head jamb. The sides are called side jambs and the bottom is called the sill. Molding or decorative trim may be added around the window after it is installed.
The style of the windows should fit in with the architecture of the house. Slash or double hung windows are familiar to anyone who has spent time in the 18th to 19th century row houses, cottages, and villas. Traditionally these were made with wooden frames that slid up and down with the aid of weighted ropes or sashes.
Solid wood shutters are commonly used in Europe. The classic louvered shutters were decorative elements of traditional farmhouses. Even in Asia due to the colonial period, the same louvered shutters are still carrying the classical touch of the window dressing. In Singapore, some old British houses have their classic shutters. Vietnam was a French colony. Their mansion houses still bear the traditional shutters.
In our city, some old houses at Wari, Purana Paltan and Hare Road have the same type of double window with wooden louver shutter.
In the past, louvered windows presented a security risk because intending intruders could easily slide out individual panels of glazing and slip through the opening.
Modern louvered windows are more tamper resistant and can even be made with security bars running through the center of each slat. Today the weights and sashes have been replaced with springy fittings and frames can be made in low-maintenance aluminum.
Windows affect the entire mood of a room. The patterns of sunlight and shadow cast by window treatments underline the essence of a room's character. People forget the exact upholstery on a chair but always remember the quality of light in a room.
Nazneen Haque Mimi
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