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  • Writer's pictureDuff Bangs

#011 Window Composition

Today's post will be about windows and one method and design process for applying windows to the facade of a home. The placement of windows is important to creating a balanced composition of a home. The following are a set of simple rules I typically use when laying out windows when designing a home.


I typically start with a very simple horizontal and vertical grid. This gives an organized and rational system to start with.

Balance Interior to exterior

I then look at balancing the interior functions with exterior window placement. Here it is important to look at the functions of the interior spaces such as capturing views inside to outside and capturing seasonal light.

Vertical Alignment

Here I like to align windows from top to bottom on multiple levels. This applies to the edges of windows as well as the vertical mullions. This is also important when considering the alignment of structural elements.

Horizontal Alignment

It is important to create a few simple datum lines to follow on all sides of a home. Typically, I pick a datum for the following:

-Bottom of the window- this is typically in alignment with the base trim.

-Middle datum. Typically at 36" from the floor to align with other elements such as railings.

-Upper datum. Typically at the window head.

This way all the windows on all sides of the house will have a balanced composition.

One thing to keep in mind is there is a fine balance between all these rules. There is typically a back and forth between finding a good balance and placement for the windows on the inside then looking at the balance on the outside. It can take some time to achieve that perfect composition for windows but it is a crucial step in creating a well designed home.

Thanks for reading. Please leave a comment below if you have any thoughts or questions and please be sure to check the modFORM LLC website!

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