Special Shape Windows | An Architect Explains

Specially shaped windows are used by themselves as an accent or with other windows or doors. Some of the special shapes are: Jalousie, Palladian, Clerestory and Arched windows. Each one is suited for a specific purpose and has certain advantages and disadvantages.


WHAT ARE JALOUSIE WINDOWS?

Jalousie windows consist of parallel glass, acrylic, or wooden louvers (comparable to blinds) that overlap one another to form the pane. The louvers are locked together on a track, allowing them to be tilted open and shut in order to control the degree of airflow through the window and are typically operated with a crank or turn-screw mechanism. Jalousie windows were popular till the mid 19th century. They are best suited for mild-weather regions and rooms that aren’t climate-controlled.

Jalousie windows have louvers
Jalousie windows consist of glass, acrylic louvers that overlap one another to form the pane.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF A JALOUSIE  WINDOWS?

Great ventilation: Due to their slatted design, practically the entire window can be opened from top to bottom, allowing for much greater airflow and improved air circulation.
Can be kept open during rains: as the outward slant of the slats keeps most of the rain out while letting the fresh, cool air in.
Open views: The open design ensures an unobstructed view. The louvered nature of the windows gives you a much larger viewing area.
Ease of repair: Each slat can be individually replaced without having to replace the entire window and frame.
Easy to repair: the mechanism supporting the opening and closing of the windows is a fairly simple design and easy to repair.

Jalousie windows allow good ventilation
Jalousie windows offer good ventilation and unobstructed views

WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF JALOUSIE WINDOWS?

Air leak: The slatted design makes these windows almost impossible to seal.
Not very secure: unwanted intruders can easily and silently remove e individual slats. For these reasons, some modern building codes do not permit their installation.

Jalousie windows cannot be sealed
Jalousie windows cannot be made air tight because of the slatted design

WHAT ARE CLERESTORY WINDOWS?

Clerestory windows are a combination of windows placed at a high level, above the lintel, close to the roof or in the roof of a building. Because of their location in a building, these windows are also known as high level glazing. Clerestory windows trace their origins to Gothic cathedrals and have adorned Egyptian temples and Roman basilicas. Now they have been adopted with equal grace in contemporary buildings.
Clerestory windows or high level glazing are kept just below the roof
Clerestory windows are windows placed at a high level, above the lintel, close to the roof or in the roof of a building

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF CLERESTORY WINDOWS?

Ample daylight to the interiors: It is an excellent way to bring natural light and fresh air to the interior spaces. And to ventilate roof and attic spaces.
No leakage: Less likelihood of water leakage problems in Clerestory windows.
Privacy: They can restrict view to the outside and inside while providing light and air. If a room doesn’t have pleasant surroundings to overlook or has the threat of onlookers, clerestory windows are a simple and effective solution.
Solar heat gain: and helps to save energy. Therefore, it is widely used as a passive building design element in Green homes.
Magnificent architectural element: It has been successfully used as an aesthetic and functional element in all types of buildings.
Floating roof: A band of clerestory windows below the roof level provides the illusion of ‘floating roof’, a concept which has been extensively used by architects all over the world. It is also used to emphasize a house’s roof shape.

clerestory windows admit a lot of light
Clerestory windows allow lot of daylight and help to save solar energy

WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF CLERESTORY WINDOWS?

Lose or admit heat:  if they aren’t properly treated.
Glare:  Windows will admit glare if they’re not oriented correctly.

Clerestory windows create glare
Clerestory windows can create a lot of glare

WHAT ARE ARCHED WINDOWS?

Arched windows can be round, oval, semi-circle or can take on another geometrical shape like circle, octagon, pentagon, trapezoid, hexagon, chord windows. While most people think of an arched top in the shape of a rainbow with a flat bottom, there can be differences in the angle of the arch, the size of the arch, and the overall shape of the ellipse. They can be installed on their own or in combination with double hung or fixed windows. They can include decorative elements like grilles, mullions and dividers. Arched windows add a distinctive and impressive look to almost any home. 

Arched windows can be round, oval, semi-circle
Arched windows can be round, oval, semi-circle or can take on another geometrical shape like circle, octagon, pentagon, trapezoid, hexagon, chord windows.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF ARCHED WINDOWS?

Distinctive look: These windows look great as standalone windows and can make a big aesthetic impact when combined with other They can become a focal design element of a home and as an added bonus, let in additional light.
Increases the resale value:  Well-placed arched windows go a long way in enhancing a home’s design thus increasing it’s resale value.

Arched windows look distinctive
Arched windows have a distinctive look and add resale value

WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF ARCHED WINDOWS?

Cost: Since these windows do not come in standard shapes and sizes, they need to be custom ordered which makes it a costly option. Also, the installation of these custom windows is expensive.
Replacement: Replacing an arched window is expensive, but a lot less costly than putting in a new one, since the unique shape is already cut out and ready for refitting.
Typically fixed frames: so they’ll let in light but cannot be opened for ventilation.

Arched windows are custom made
Arched windows are expensive as they are custom made

WHAT ARE PALLADIAN WINDOWS?

Palladian windows are a set of three rectangular windows with an arch over the centre window. These windows have become very popular in the last decade. They tend to be rather ornate designs and when done well can provide visual interest and a stunning focal point to a home.

Palladian windows
Palladian windows are a set of three rectangular windows with a central arched window.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF PALLADIAN WINDOWS?

Elegant And Graceful:  with beautiful columns integrated into the framing and ornate molding and cornices topping the outside frames. They can add an amazing design feature to a home and make it a visual showcase for friends and family.

Allow Lots Of Light:  Because the whole opening is so large, they allow in a large amount of light. They rival clerestory windows for the amount of light that they bring into a room, creating an open and airy feel.

Palladian windows are graceful
Palladian windows are graceful in appearance and allow lot of light

WHAT ARE THE DISADVANTAGES OF PALLADIAN WINDOWS?

The Price Tag:  Palladian windows have to be custom made with the arched top,  big thick molding and columns in between the frames.

palladian windows are expensive to make
Palladian windows are expensive as they are custom made
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For more information on other types of Windows, go to:

One thought on “Special Shape Windows | An Architect Explains

  • March 2, 2015 at 12:58 pm
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    Beautiful designs and photos! I am currently working with a glass company to create the perfect design for my new windows, and this post has given me really great ideas. Thanks for sharing!
    Thanks Alicia for the appreciation.
    Admin

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