Richly textured yet tactfully discreet, the charred-wood face of Desai Chia Architecture’s Lake Michigan House immediately draws the eye. Clad in “shou sugi ban” wood – a traditional Japanese method of charring wood to become rot- and bug-resistant – the exterior catches the play of light and shadow throughout the day. Inside, the warmth and character of wood also defines the space. The flooring, ceiling panels, cabinetry and trim work – as well as custom furniture pieces – were all made from dying ash trees that were found on-site, while locally sourced stone frames the house. But in a striking – and award-winning – home, the element that quietly ties the space together are aluminum frame windows by Western Window Systems.
In a residence designed to spotlight natural materials, aluminum windows might come as a surprise. Yet, for a project that prioritizes sustainability, efficiency, and a streamlined aesthetic, it’s an obvious choice.
In northern Michigan’s challenging climate, the superior thermal performance of aluminum window frames presents a clear advantage over wood – and vinyl – alternatives. Offering energy savings and unparalleled durability, the thermal efficiency of aluminum window systems is complemented by their resistance to corrosion, cracks and warping.
Compared to wood frames, aluminum window systems allow long-term, low-maintenance installation. Although wood offers the advantage of renewability, aluminum can be easily and efficiently recycled at the end of its lifespan, befitting a sensitively designed project that emphasizes reuse, and allowing for a carefully mitigated ecological footprint.
Aesthetically, the sleekness of the installation makes Western Windows Systems’ windows a subtle highlight of the home. The flexibility of aluminum allows for a maximized visible glass area, easily facilitating floor-to-ceiling fenestration to create an open, light-filled environment. With minimal framing, the aluminum window system offers unobstructed sight lines while maintaining a clean visual language.
As aluminum windows become more widely used in high-end residential projects, Western Window Systems is continuing to lead the market with innovation. In particular, the Series 7000 family of energy-smart aluminum moving glass walls and windows elevates performance – and appearance – to new heights. Most recently, the Series 7000 collection has added impact-resistant options, designed primarily for cold-weather regions on the East Coast.
The flexibility offered by Western Window Systems also means that designers are free to create custom window sizes and numerous window and door combinations within a single opening. For unique and innovative projects, Western Window Systems promises to “build nearly anything providing it falls within the tolerances of [the] products.” At the Lake Michigan House and in projects across North America, it shows.
This content was published by Azure on behalf of Western Window Systems.