When you think of steel, durability ,endurance and resilience come to mind.Beauty of Steel Windows still is a key feature. Superior strength, graceful form, versatility and aesthetics have made the use of steel predominant for centuries in the building and manufacturing industries. Steel windows in particular have been used in historical museums, ecclesiastic buildings and homes of those who could afford them, even in the historical Tower of London.
The first steel windows were manufactured by the English businessman and philanthropist Francis Henry Crittall who in 1884 in the Essex town of Braintree instigated the manufacture of metal-framed windows when he took over a window business from his brother. The distinctive windows became hugely popular after WW1 when there was a demand for more durable windows. Nowadays Steel windows are sleek, modern and incredibly versatile so its incredible to believe that their roots trace all the way back to medieval times.
Metal windows were born as blacksmith’s art in the medieval age. The windows were made in smithies out of wrought iron and were initially reserved for churches and the very wealthy, and as the mongering process developed they quickly became works of art used in prominent buildings and palaces of the time. Whilst they may not have ever reached today’s standard of high performance and energy efficiency, they were perfect examples of the blacksmith’s art and added architectural character while allowing light into the structure.
Gothic revival architecture gave metal windows a new lease of life. The windows fell out of favor with the rich and fashionable who began to prefer the elegance of wood frames. Metal windows however were retained in religious ecclesiastic buildings as well as more modest homes. The emergence of the Industrial Revolution allowed production of the metal windows in a controlled factory environment thus creating a wider choice of designs and styles. They quickly became a popular choice for builders and architects with copper and iron becoming the most popular materials.
The strength and security that metal provided could not be matched by timber frames. For this reason, they quickly began being used for commercial purposes in prisons, schools, mental institution and factories.
By the end of the Industrial revolutions steel windows became a reality.
In 1856 Sir Henry Bessemer an English inventor developed a process for hot rolling steel which made the steel windows possible. His steel making process became the most important technique of the nineteenth century for almost 100 years. Steel windows became a go-to supporting the construction boom.
In 1955 hot-dip galvanizing was introduced adding further benefits to the fabrication of steel windows.
The improvement of glassmaking techniques allowed for larger windows.
Contemporary steel doors & frames became the favorite metal to frame extremely large windows in hospitals, schools, office windows and factories. The residential sector did not embrace the popularity as the windows looked very industrial. However, everything changed in the 20th century.
Architects who emerged in the Modernist period liked and utilized the industrial aesthetics and graphic lines of the sleek metal frames. They wanted the ability steel frames offered to hold panes of glass in much
Larger sizes. From the 1920’s to the 1940’s steel windows were used in most
buildings and there were more than 100 individual profiles.
Frank Lloyd Wright one of the most famous architects of the modern age
Whose work was a major departure from what his contemporaries were creating made use of steel to create amazing buildings and residences like the acclaimed masterpiece Fallingwater. All windows and frames at Fallingwater are made of steel and were specified by him to be manufactured by Hope’s windows of Jamestown, New York.
The aesthetic virtues of steel cannot be duplicated as aluminum, wood or vinyl alternatives. The look and finesse of steel windows and doors can never be replicated it is distinctive and unique.
The gracefulness and minimal aspect of steel windows and doors is derived from the massive strength of the material. They are three times stronger than aluminum; this advantage allows the use of immense glass lights used in spectacular openings.
Steel windows and doors are more durable than almost any other material used in construction, their lifecycle is unsurpassed. In Europe and North America classical architectural examples over a century old still contain original steel windows and doors that are to this day highly functional after more than three generations.
Today many modern commercial and residential trends are embracing the steel windows and doors, they are leading architects and builders back to these beautiful and practical steel units for a wide range of creative design and innovative uses.
Contemporary steel windows and doors are very customizable, thermally efficient, impact, fire and blast resistant and offer an array of finishes that were not imagined 100 years ago. In the 21st century architects and builders are responding to consumer demands for narrower frames and sidelights that offer a sleek modern look that allows more natural light.
Additionally, advances in insulated glass and thermally broken /enhanced frames allow energy efficiency unheard of many years ago. Many factory applied finishes such as zinc coating, electro-coat primers, powder coatings,
Urethane enamels and corrosion- inhibiting coatings make steel windows and doors a highly desirable design feature.
The use of steel windows and doors in work spaces are being specified by architects for interior usage to give spaces a more fashionable and industrial look that provides strength and beauty as well as natural light
And wide unobstructed views. Interior glass and steel partitions that reflect contemporary architectural touches favor less framing, more open views and better natural lighting.
Renovation projects often select steel products to replace wood windows and doors to maximize glazing areas and to provide extended durability.
Retrofit commercial and residential projects benefit from technical advances such as insulated units with Low E glass, integral weatherstripping, coupled with slim sidelights and frames. The visual appeal of steel windows and doors offer versatile design options and a wide range of aesthetically appealing capabilities. The superior strength, impressive durability and exquisite design options are unmatched in residential and commercial projects.
The Beauty of steel windows such as the ones manufactured by Cantera Doors are truly 21st century windows utilized and admired for their remarkable and stylish good looks, robust strength , energy efficiency and high technical performance.
Visit us at www.canteradoors.com to learn more.