Thursday, 30 January 2014

Windows Downunder

I don't know why it is that the design of our homes and in particular our windows rarely take into consideration this hot and arid country.

My flat tin roof, no overhang and north-facing windows (and a parking sign!!)
I live in an architect designed 15 year old house which I love but which should never have been designed as it is! Well not in this country. And I know this house is not a 'one-off'. They are sprouting like mushrooms all over the place. Not only does the house have a flat tin roof with no eaves for shading my biggest beef is the windows! Now everyone knows that once the sun hits glass it doesn't matter how you try to foil the heat it is pretty much too late. My double casement windows firstly have no protection on the outside but they also open outwards so there is absolutely no chance of putting charming 'European shutters' on the outside to protect the glass. 
The entrance to my home - shutters on the INSIDE!
I've invested inordinate amounts of time trying to find a way to rectify the problem and I've invested a large amount of money on a mildly successful window coating treatment and inner shutters. Both of these have certainly made a difference but oh how I dream of windows opening inwards so that a Middle Eastern or European window treatment could be applied! Here are some of the windows I would love to have had the option to choose and those I considered. Enjoy the ride!

Build an 'outside' Mashrabbya - wouldn't the Council love that application!
Yemeni children peeping through their 'blind protectors'

Matching outside shutters (widows open IN) and baby blue Citroen - France - surprise surprise!
Outside shutters in St Paul de Vence - so typical and so suitable for the Australian climate!

I even considered this 'addition' seen at the wonderful Alhambra Palace in Granada

A temporary addition in Cordoba - impossible to put on the outside when the window is open!! Great (!!) colour

Pretty rush blinds in Cordoba (impossible with out-opening windows!)

Flowers covering the windows in Cordoba (heaven but....)

Roll-down blinds with windows opening - IN - Cordoba

Blinds in Seville

I even considered something along these lines - built out to take the windows opening OUT - Sitges, Spain

And finally the slide-across option in Sitges
As you will see I did a lot of homework! I did a lot of thinking! I did a lot of discussing! I took a lot of advice! All to no avail. I even looked at replacing all the windows (well reversing them..... ha ha - so that they opened IN - I am still recovering from the shock of the quote!) And I'm only talking about my casement windows. I haven't even broached the subject of sheets of glass - facing north and west particularly - with no double-glazing, no overhangs, no verandahs. No wonder people fled their hot-boxes for hotel-living during the recent hot spell. The only winners - the electricity supply companies!

Does anyone know why our windows are made to open out? Is this a hangover from British Colonial Design!?!

No comments:

Post a Comment