Architecture is mainly conceived as the mean to cater a specific spatial need, but along with it, it delivers an atmosphere that stimulates our spatial senses. Volumes, shadows, textures and colours are some of the tools architects use to create or modify our environments in order to adapt them to a demanded function. Although the changes architecture makes in a site might be perceived as an invasion, good practice should appear as an enhancement of its location. Architects analyse an area and improve it by recognising its qualities so the identity of the site is embraced. Any construction is a combination of elements that set a path: the design gives hints to make its users move with intention instead of wandering with no particular aim through space. Windows are often regarded as the eyes of a building, it’s the materialisation of the architect’s purpose to make us look at a certain point.
Window language is not only a frame shape, it’s a depth, layers, filters, angles… any variation of those characteristics might change completely the perception we have. The way a point of view is framed can change our perspective and produce emotions. The strength of windows is that by revealing some parts and hiding others they can transform the space without even touching it, just working with perception. A vast panorama that seems to span to the infinity can be confined in a frame, and make the surroundings become reachable. This illusion makes us rethink what we see and starts a conversation between the viewer and the environment that wouldn’t have taken place without any construction. An extensive landscape might be reshape, abundant vegetation can be confined and the immensity of the sky could be grasped by simply placing a window.
In the same way, a window can be diminishing. An opening, no matter its size, that don’t set up an interaction between interior and exterior can be isolating. It’s a double-edged sword that can turn a space into a great experience or an aversive one. To create a comforting place, architecture needs to be tightly connected to its environment, and give the opportunity to look at the surrounding through itself in a way that improves the site. If architecture doesn’t accomplish that it has no raison d’être.
Looking at the world through architecture not only shapes the world physically, but also intangibly. Architecture has to offer escapism so it works at its full potential. By setting directions to orientate us and pointing us to a specific point of view, users get a fuller experience of space. To place a window is a statement that connects two differentiated spaces in order to highlight those characteristics that make a site unique.