I was very pleased recently to be asked to speak at a conference organised by Everglade Window’s all about inspirational glazing design, the key trends in glazing and what our clients are asking for this year.
You can flick through my slides here and read on below for a summary too:
I started out describing a project from the early naughties on Alfriston Road in London.
We designed one of the first sets of bi-fold doors in a residential extension for this house, which was featured in Homes and Gardens Magazines to much admiration. As a practice, Granit has always looked to inspirational glazing design as a way to create light and beautiful living environments and innovations like this have always been a key part of what makes our projects stand out.
Key Trends in Glazing
I went on to outline what I see as the key trends in inspirational glazing design at the moment:
The use of steel framed windows, coupled with bare materials – exposed brick, polished concert and exposed steelwork – to create an industrial feel in the home for both internal and external applications is now very popular.
The sub-divided glazing provides fabulous shadow quality as well as adding a softness and sense of enclosure to large glazed areas.
We are frequently asked to bring the garden into the living spaces and vice versa to really make the most of any external space.
This can be achieved through maximising glazed areas with minimal frames, both sliding and sliding folding, using flush thresholds and continuous flooring to remove boundaries between internal and external space, and utilising bi-fold doors to extend small gardens into the home.
Always high on the sustainable agenda, reducing energy demand (and so bills) will continue to be something clients are striving for, including this property which uses a triple glazed window system.
Designing with Glass
I outlined some of the other design and specification considerations we find when designing with Glass too.
Cost is always a factor on any client’s priority list, and with increasing build costs, our clients are seeking more cost effective options. We have seen a resurgence in UPVC windows, particularly very high quality sliding sash options; and we have been challenging ourselves to create interesting architectural spaces using very cost effective systems in innovative ways – such as in our Wakehurst Road project.
Materiality is something else we are seeing diverge from the norms of white, black and grey framing. We are exploring non-standard RAL colour options, metal finishes such as bronze and copper, and even timber framed minimal glazing to soften the glazed elements, and provide a different feel.
Consistency in Design
Something particularly important for development projects is that all types of glazing look consistent throughout the project, so a suite of complimentary products offering fixed, opening, sliding and bi-fold doors that look like they belong together is really critical to the continuity of the design.
You can see examples of this in our Townhouse Studios project.
I wrapped up by running through some of our current projects, on site and on the drawing board.
It was a great afternoon, hearing from other contributors such as Anna Wallace of Price Waterhouse Coopers discussing the potential implications of Brexit for the glazing industry, and Jim Lee from The Glass and Glazing Federation talking about avoiding glazing disputes, as well as talking to the suppliers themselves.
If you would like to find out more about glazing design trends then I would be delighted to hear from you. Please get in touch here.