1st Edition

Great Windows in Modern Architecture

By Kevin Adams Copyright 2024
    228 Pages 313 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    228 Pages 313 Color Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Windows are moments in modern architecture where we look to ascertain elegance, technical expression and material language or to capture a certain atmosphere. A window opening is as much an interval and an opportunity as it is a device for admitting light, air or views; it is simultaneously a physical aperture but also a philosophical opening of collaboration and reflection. In order to understand the language of a building we might look to the detail of the window. But what does this mean and why does modern architecture invest so much expression in the window?

    This book explores how the act of detailing and situating windows in buildings is a key proponent in the language of architecture, which both informs and works with the contingencies of design and construction. It investigates 18 case studies in-depth using painstakingly drawn details and vivid photographs in full colour to define what makes these windows “great” and how each window is situated within both its technical and philosophical context and as an overall development of modern architecture.

    Case studies include the work of Walter Gropius, Mies van der Rohe, Pierre Chareau, Frank Lloyd Wright, Alvar Aalto, Carlo Scarpa, Le Corbusier, Stirling and Gowan, Raili and Reima Pietilä, Louis Kahn, Peter Womersley, Miralles/Pinós, Steven Holl, Glen Murcutt and O’Donnell + Tuomey.

    Introduction: What is a window? 

    1. Bauhaus School, Dessau 

    2. Brunswick Park Primary School Assembly Hall 

    3. La Maison de Verre 

    4. S.C. Johnson Administration Building and Research Tower 

    5. Villa Tugendhat 

    6. The Klein Studio 

    7. The Gipsoteca Canoviana 

    8. Säynätsalo Town Hall 

    9. Fisher House 

    10. Arthur and Yvonne Boyd Education Centre 

    11. Swee Saw Hock Student Centre 

    12. CEPT School of Architecture 

    13. Hostelets Civic Centre 

    14. Dipoli Student Centre 

    15. Higgins Hall Centre, Pratt Institute 

    16. The Dominican Monastery of Sainte Marie de La Tourette 

    17. Whitney Museum of American Art (currently Frick Madison) 

    18. Sydney Opera House


    Kevin Adams is a Teaching Fellow at the Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (ESALA), a practising architect and the founding principal of kalm architecture.