A DESIGN STRATEGY SERIES FOR THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
CONNECT WITH NATURE THE PERFECT VIEW THAT OPENS UP TO NATURE A resource for creating the infinite picture window with sliding door systems and a comparison of available products
Hybrid Urban House by Ramona Albert
Light and nature are the basis of our wellbeing. Glass technology allows us to invite these elements into our interior spaces and take enjoy nature’s healing beauty.
“The health of the eye seems to demand a horizon. We are never tired, so long as we can see far enough.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
AT RAA we are inspired and rooted in connecting with nature and is why we believe in the power of glass as a portal to bring nature closer to home. With our expertise in designing building state of the art faรงade systems and we are offering an insight into our process. Glass technology has evolved in the past decade,and coupled with the availability of new materials, it has made possible to build very efficient buildings that can give us the perfect view to the outside, as well as create a physical connection.
Louis Vuitton Ion facade
While custom glazing systems are always an option, there are many products available on the market that provide beautifully clean lines and energy efficient systems, that facilitate the perfect picture view, with the potential to open up fully to nature.
the ORIGINAL GLASS HOUSES a glance
â€œIf you view nature through glass walls it gains a more profound significance than if viewed from the outside. That way more is said about nature - it becomes part of a larger whole.â€? Mies van der Rohe
Glass technology has evolved in the past decade, and coupled with the availability of new materials, it has made it possible to build very efficient buildings that can give us the perfect view to the outside, as well as create a physical connection. While custom glazing systems are always an option, there are many products available on the market that provide beautifully clean lines and energy efficient systems, that facilitate the perfect picture view, with the potential to open up fully to nature.
The Farnsworth House, by Mies Van der Rohe, symbolizes the essence of simplicity in its purest form. Commissioned by Edith Farnsworth, the house located in Plano, Illinois, was designed as a weekend retreat, and it was completed in 1951. The house has an open plan, with a central core that contains the services, bathrooms and the kitchen, which has a long continuous stainless steel counter top. The structure of the house consists of two slabs with vertical steel beams supporting them. Glass exterior walls surround the entire house.
The Farnsworth House Interior. Photo by Bogdan Profir
The Glass House designed by Philip Johnson is meant as a pavilion to view the surrounding landscape. It was built in 1949. The architect notes: â€œThe Glass House stylistically is a mixture of Mies van der Rohe, Malevich, the Parthenon, the English garden, the whole Romantic Movement, the asymmetry of the 19th century. In other words, all these things are mixed up in it but basically it is the last of the modern, in the sense of the historic way we treat modern architecture today, the simple cubeâ€?
The Glass House, Photography by Erik Johnson
GLASS HOUSE FACADE TODAY operable glazing options
Glass technology today enables us to build sustainable environments that blend nature with the interior space.
We bring to design a unique expertise that blends seamlessly a broad knowledge in facade systems and construction techniques, and we are available to answer your questions about your next project. With extensive experience in the design and construction of complex buildings and their components, we assist building owners and their collaborators in developing elegant solutions, from concept design through construction.
The companies mentioned are not compensating this report in any way.
The following pages showcase some of the most luxurious operable glazing systems that provide large openings and unlimited views. While, quite similar at first glance, each product has their own specific properties and qualities. Each project must determine the feasibility of the products, depending on design, schedule and cost, along with other additional factors. Custom made systems are also widely used, and while the readily available products offer integrated design, engineering and installation, those systems involve a more elaborate design and engineering process. For further information and discussion, please contact us. We are happy to guide you through your choices. We are here to help navigate the complex nature of the design and construction process.
Ramona Albert, NYC Townhouse
SKYFRAME $$$$$ Company motto: “A view, not a window” This system is beautifully minimal and open to the outside. Made and engineered in Switzerland, the system is carefully crafted to achieve a hidden frame, with the smallest available vertical members made of aluminum or glass fiber reinforced plastic. The glazing panels can be curved, tilted, in a sliding or pivoting position. It can accommodate large panels of glass (up to four meters) and various high efficiency systems and glazing types. This product is the perfect choice for an amazingly clean view with minimal frame, and maximum desired opening. “The spectacular frameless glass panels and flush transitions allow inside and outside to merge seamlessly into one another to form a living space.” This system is top of the line. It is more costly than other systems, but it is designed, engineered and installed by one company, bringing great craftsmanship to the project.
Villa su lago, Laco di Garda,photography Marcello Mariana
Wohnhaus Freundorf, Austria by A01
Art Collector’s Loft, NYC by UN Studio
VITROCSA $$$$$ The standard in the slim line sliding glass system design. Vitrocsa created the slim line system inspired by the Californian mid-century modern architecture. The system has an invisible sill and extremely minimal vertical mullions. The glazing surfaces can be up to 250 sf., and it allows for various options of glazing combinations, as well as hurricane proof assembly. It offers many variations in the window system mechanics, can be vertically sliding, pivoting, or with a turnable corner. This product is the perfect choice for achieving large open views. More costly than other products, it is however a streamlined system that is very minimal and clean. The system is manufactured in the US using swiss made extrusions and parts.
Michael Bayâ€™s House in California by Chad Oppenheim
Sittig House by Marmol Radziner, San Francisco
REYNAER HIFINITY $$$$$ The Hi-Finity System offers large panels of glass up to 11.5’ x 11.5’. The system prides itself in creating an infinite view with the ultimate performance. The ultra-slim design for the sliding doors create large open surfaces for a light and “elegant” appearance. The aluminum profiles are integrated in the wall, and the glass surfaces extend from floor to ceiling. The system has a high energy performance can achieve passive house level,through the use of double and triple glazing solutions. The panels are perfect for low energy houses. Reynaers is an European company and supplies much of the residential and the commercial sector. It offers design, engineering and installation support.
Apartment Silesia by MMOA Pracownia
Private House by Crahay & Jamaigne Architectes
El Mar by Karina Freiportner
STYLINE $$$$$ Styline is the state of the art sliding glazing system that has the ability to create large panels with the use of very minimal profiles. It uses glass as the main structural component, and the frame guides the motion of the door. The frame is embedded in the walls, floor and ceiling for a very streamlined look. The 3/4” vertical members are almost invisible between the panels. The aluminum system comes in many finishes, standard as well as custom, and can be adjusted by need. The panel heights can be up to 240” and widths up to 120”. The company manufactures and installs all their products. Based in California this company is often an Architect’s favorite.
California Home by Saota
House in California by Magni Kalman Design
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With extensive experience in the design and construction of complex buildings and their components, we assist building owners and their collaborators in developing elegant solutions, from concept design through construction. Contact us to find out more information on existing systems and the process of designing the picture perfect view.
Resources: 1. Eshter M. Sternberg. Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well Being 2. Roger S. Ulrich, Ph.D., EDAC. Effects of Gardens of Health Outcomes: Theory and Research 3. Eshter M. Sternberg. The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions
Ramona Albert, AIA is an award winning designer and builder practicing in New York. She is the founder and Principal of Ramona Albert Architecture P.C., a Brooklyn based studio. With an aesthetic rooted in the natural environment and sustainable building, she takes a holistic approach to the design process and relies on her extensive experience in construction management to develop buildings and products from inception to final construction, with a particular focus on innovation. She enthusiastically embraces advancing technology, pushing the limits toward the development of new materials and building techniques while continuously optimizing results for each client and project. Ramona is a registered architect in the United States in NY and CT, is an NCARB member. She holds a Master of Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and has taught, completed research, lectured, published and exhibited her work throughout the US and abroad. Ramona is a member of the AIA, U.S. Green Building Council, NY Passive House & International Living Future Institute. The office is certified as a Women Owned Business Enterprise. Expertise: Great design is only part of the story. Great execution brings it to life. We advance the state of the art while realizing elegant design at a broad variety of scales. Our depth of expertise in project coordination through bidding and construction is demonstrated in many successful projects. Design of an innovative fabric laminated faรงade system that filters UVlight provided privacy for worshipers at the Lincoln Square Synagogue. Careful planning and phasing allowed for continuous occupancy at 5 Manhattan West, enabling the owners to realize value from their assets even during a complicated renovation. Successful navigation of the New York City Landmarks Preservation requirements cleared the way for the Hybrid Urban House. At the Madaras Chapel located in the Harghita mountains of Transylvania we successfully reconciled the use of digital and parametric design technologies with local materials and construction techniques, reflecting the strong sense of craft and culture of the place. Drawing inspiration from the natural world, we develop ideas starting with the greater expression and focusing progressively in towards a one-to-one scale. We push the boundaries of space and attend to minute details, heightening perceptions and fashioning a truly tactile sensuality. We provide comprehensive technology driven design and consulting services, taking projects from the initial idea through the final stages of construction documentation. We employ a rational streamlined comprehensive process to deliver high quality buildings and spaces, custom construction assemblies and luxuriously crafted products. Contact us for more information.
Glass technology that invites nature inside. A guide to creating the perfect picture perfect view.