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Azure January February 2023 issue cover

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A lot of biophilic designs work to bring elements of nature inside. But the best way to establish a connection to the outdoor world isn’t just by transplanting greenery — it’s by linking directly to it. Glazing, particularly in the form of moving walls of glass, offers the ability to create an uninterrupted sense of flow between a home’s interior living space and its surrounding environment.

Western Window Systems is a clear leader in this sector of the industry, helping homeowners to experience a closer connection to the natural vistas that lie right in front of them. Not only do the company’s popular floor-to-ceiling fenestration products allow for expansive views, but Western Window Systems’ multi-slide pocket doors take things a step even further — vanishing entirely to facilitate a truly seamless blend of indoors and out.

It’s no wonder, then, that sliding and pivoting solutions from Western Window Systems are being embraced in exciting architectural projects from the Arizona desert to the California redwoods. Below, we examine how a few recent homes have leveraged the company’s innovative offerings to achieve strong links to their local landscapes. 

1
Integrating into a desert microclimate in Arizona

For the design of O’Asis House in the Phoenix Mountain Preserve, architecture firm The Ranch Mine wrapped an O-shaped building around a lush interior courtyard. With the help of Western Window Systems products, the courtyard acts as the main focal point from inside the home. Not only does the living room link directly to the property’s inner sanctuary via Series 600 Multi-Slide Doors, but the house’s front door also opens up to a spectacular view of the space through a Series 600 Window Wall.

“When the doors and windows of the main living space are open, it essentially transforms the indoor space into an outdoor space,” says Calvin Costello, the project’s principal architect. Meanwhile, the Low-E, argon-filled glass helps to ensure that the extreme desert heat doesn’t lead to uncomfortable solar gain.

2
Striking a balance between openness and privacy in California

It’s a common misconception that glass houses are synonymous with overexposure. For Sanctuary House, a project in Palo Alto, Feldman Architecture employed Western Window Systems’ Series 600 Window Wall and Series 980 Pivot Door to take advantage of the surrounding natural landscape. But in keeping with the owner’s desire for privacy, the architects focused the house’s views on sheltered individual courtyards rather than the property at large.

“One of the client’s highest priorities was to feel protected in this shelter, but to still have a sense of connection to the outdoors,” says Feldman Architecture partner Tai Ikegami. “The design was about, ‘How can the architecture start to dissolve?’ So that while you’re sheltered, you’re still connected to those outdoor spaces.”

3
Blending into the local landscape in Nevada

While envisioning this biophilia-centric project, design development firm Blue Heron took inspiration from nature at every turn. First, the home’s organic material palette was selected to echo the colour scheme of the surrounding environment, with natural stone chosen as a particularly prominent element. Furthermore, the project’s landscaping and water features extend directly inside of the house. And by adopting retractable glass walls from Western Window Systems in many rooms, the designers further reduced the boundary between indoors and out.

“It’s really about taking some of these cues from nature that help us relax and give us that sense of well-being,” explains Blue Heron founder and CEO Tyler Jones. “And the more that you can blur the line between the natural world and the environment that we’ve created, the greater the effect.”

This content was published by AZURE on behalf of Western Window Systems.

Western Window Systems Blurs the Line Between Indoors and Out

Floor-to-ceiling glazing products create new opportunities to experience the calming properties of nature.

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