Thursday, August 11, 2022


 Carrying on work started in UK a couple of weeks ago. The bigger picture is a study of terraced house typologies, staple of the industrial revolution in England and the massive surge of urbanisation that came with it.

I’m taking a modular approach to doors and windows like I usually do. Nested components two or three levels deep that can be swapped out for maximum economy of effort.

The opening and frame are separate families that can be swapped out, mixed and match with other variations. In this case the opening has a segmental arch but the same component would work with a flat stone lintel, for example.

Similarly the sill can be swapped out, and the sash components.

The opening itself starts as two void sweeps, based on inner and outer profiles. Rebates are formed to house the sash box, plus a dropped sill.

But the sill needs to push back under the wooden frame and project at the ends, so that’s another void sweep using the rectangular profile. The sill family is a solid extrusion with a shallow void sweep along the front edge, stopping short at the ends.

We need two versions of the sash. One divided simply down the middle, the other featuring a more stylish arrangement. Two narrow side panels with a large middle pane. Two visibility parameters do the trick.

It will take a couple more iterations to fine tune this and achieve the level of control we will need. The arch will be a nested item, like the sill. Two different colours of brick make it an interesting challenge.

The sash boxes are hollow now (for the cast iron weights) but they need to be deeper. I’m judging all the measurements from memory and common sense. I need to look up my study from some years ago. There are things like brass pulley wheels that I could use.

I’ve added internal architraves and sill. Such a simple robust technology the sash window. Born in the Dutch / English world of commerce and industry that was the 17th century. Too little credit is given to the role of building trade innovations of that era in helping to enable the industrial revolution a century later.



The coal burning fireplaces of London drove the growth of the coal mining sector whose capacity would be vital later to supply the energy for steam powered cotton mills.

Rapid urbanisation was vital for rolling out factory production across sector after sector. Sliding sash window technology is based on standard sections, run off in timber mills across the country and available off the shelf.

Mouldings, fittings and decorative flourishes varied. It’s easy to imagine a distributed network of artisans and suppliers trying out different solutions as the technology evolved over decades by a kind of natural selection.




No comments:

Post a Comment

I've been getting a lot of spam so had to tighten up comments permissions. Sorry for any inconvenience. I do like to hear from real people