When children first learn to draw a house, there are four basic components that they demonstrate: a wall, a pitched roof, a door, and one or more windows. Besides common structural elements, windows have long been considered indispensable architectural features for their multiple functions. While providing views, daylight, and natural ventilation, they insulate from cold and heat, protect against external threats, and enhance the appearance of the façade. It is also associated with a strong poetic or symbolic value; Through them we can connect with and enjoy our surroundings, be it a beautiful landscape or a dense urban environment. Windows are an expressive part of any building, serving as a visual bridge between indoors and outdoors, and to some extent serving as a refreshing escape from our daily routines.
With countless functional and decorative functions, choosing the right type of window is crucial and not to be taken lightly. It must fit specific spatial requirements, meet users’ specific needs and respond to pre-existing conditions such as orientation, climate, and location. However, the endless options available in the market make the decision very complicated. Windows can vary in size, thickness, type of glass, frame material, movement, sealing method, and degree of transparency. And if the decision wasn’t already complicated enough, newer technologies have also developed innovative glass features ranging from fire-resistant panels to safety and soundproofing properties. All of these factors taken together and in various combinations can greatly influence ventilation, lighting, energy efficiency and safety, as well as defining a project’s identity and aesthetic language.
To inspire architects, designers, and homeowners during the selection process, we present below 20 different types of windows that can also be found in the Architonic catalog. They are grouped according to their opening movement, shape, framing materials, and performance characteristics—characteristics that can, of course, be combined in practically endless configurations.
Rotating on a vertical axis located in the center or outside the frame, these swing windows are distinguished by their smooth, continuous movement and a sleek, contemporary aesthetic.
As indicated by their name, roll-up windows feature panels that curve and snap together when opened. They can quickly and easily open up a space, integrate the exterior, provide uninterrupted views and allow users to walk through.
Casement windows are attached to the frame with one or more hinges on the side, similar to traditional doors. They are usually mounted on single or double panels, allowing for complete ventilation from top to bottom when open.
Awning windows are casement windows that swing vertically rather than horizontally. They are usually found in high or narrow places – such as doors or other windows – and are usually well sealed.
Slanting windows lean toward the room, remaining steady at the base. They can be opened when ventilation is required, while maintaining a high level of security and protection from rain.
Tilt and rotate
Widely used in kitchens and bathrooms, these windows feature a hinged mechanism that allows them to open in two ways: they can be opened fully like a casement window, or tilted slightly inward to create a small opening at the top.
Sliding windows open on a horizontal track, moving from side to side. Because they are easily manageable and do not require additional space to operate, they are a popular choice for porches, patios, and smaller, narrower rooms.
Slide-up windows are another great way to save space, and are a major asset for tight spaces or anywhere one doesn’t want to fit an outside swinging window.
Sliding windows also move vertically down, but in this case point down to meet different spatial requirements. Thanks to new technologies, it’s even possible to get these things down with the push of a button.
Because wood frames are susceptible to moisture and insect damage, they often require regular maintenance. However, it comes from a renewable source, is extremely versatile and offers a warm, timeless, nature-inspired look like no other.
Although they can be quite heavy, steel windows are strong, safe, and particularly suitable for sleek, modern designs. They are also low maintenance, versatile and recyclable. In some cases, the frame actually contains a core of wood which is then covered with steel.
Vinyl windows are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is a plastic material. They are widely used in various formats, and are distinguished by their durability, insulating properties, cost efficiency and low maintenance.
Aluminum frames are particularly known for their durability, and can last up to 30 years. It is also 100% recyclable, thermally efficient and virtually maintenance free, which explains its popularity in many architectural settings.
Like a glass wall, frameless windows do not have a clear frame around the perimeter. They may be completely frameless – thanks to structural glazing technology – or use minimal framing. Either way, the resulting contemporary look maximizes views and transparency.
Fixed windows are those in which the panels do not move and are firmly fixed in position, thus framing views, accentuating design elements and maximizing light transmittance. Often, they are combined with awnings or casement windows to provide airflow.
Fixed or vented skylights are essentially glass-encased skylights. They can take on endless shapes, sizes, and shapes, creating a gentle filtered light or a dramatic focal point effect that instantly draws attention.
With its classic geometry, the box-type format is one of the oldest window forms in terms of form. These usually have great heat and sound insulation properties, which is always a plus.
Reduce the volume
Although sound reducing windows are not able to completely block out every noise, it certainly makes the room quieter. This can be achieved in several ways: adding more window panes, increasing the distance between them or using laminated glass.
Made of several layers of toughened glass with bulging interlayers, fire rated windows will not shatter in the event of a fire (unlike traditional glass windows). The outer layer of glass shatters when exposed to heat, causing the bulging interlayer to expand and repel the flame.
Security windows use specially designed toughened glass to be less likely to break – and if it does break, it will in small, non-lethal particles. To ensure maximum security, glass must ideally be combined with reinforced security profiles and hardware.
visiting Architonic’s “Window Types” section For more examples or explore other inspiring glass ideas at our site Project finder.