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Architecture and design

The history of the development of the window design

Fedotov Oleg Igorevich

ORCID: 0009-0006-9556-6147

Bachelor's Degree, Department of Building Design and Real Estate Expertise, Siberian Federal University (Institute of Civil Engineering)

660041, Russia, Krasnoyarsk Territory, Krasnoyarsk, 82 Svobodny Ave., a










Abstract: The subject of the study is the process of development of the architectural and functional element of the window design - the window profile. In the work, the time frame of the study was determined the XVII-XXI centuries. The features of the applied window profile designs for the considered climatic zone Siberia north of the 55th parallel of northern latitude are revealed. The materials of window frames are considered, the design features of window profiles in these periods are revealed. Historical documents, scientific articles in the public domain, photographs were studied. Full-scale surveys of urban development objects were carried out, which made it possible to trace the functional development of this element of translucent structures. The novelty of the research lies in obtaining a chronological overview of the window profile design during the specified periods in Siberia. The results of the study showed that in the period of the XVII-XXI centuries, window profiles were improved both structurally becoming stronger, lighter, more reliable due to the use of the manufacturing method, the study of modern and traditional construction materials, the introduction of requirements and standards for the design of window profiles, and functionally, changing the functional requirements for window profiles (frames). As a result, the search for forms, materials, and window designs led to a modern translucent system that meets the conditions of the Siberian climate.


window, frame, construction, material, profile, Siberia, development, stage, protection, expression

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

2 Introduction

The presence of translucent structures in a modern house is a mandatory requirement when designing. Windows can be of different sizes, use several double-glazed windows, be made on a frame made of aluminum, plastic or wooden profile. The criteria for the frame elements of the window are: strength, protection of the room from the penetration of atmospheric precipitation, the formation of a complete architectural appearance of the building. Mainly, for the climatic conditions of Siberia, the enclosing structure as a whole and its individual elements should have low thermal conductivity to prevent leakage of heat flow from the building.

3 The main part

A window is a translucent enclosing structure that is an element of the wall structure of a building or structure. This design is designed to communicate the interior with the surrounding space, provides natural lighting and ventilation of the premises and protection from external climatic and other influences [1]. A modern window block consists of the following elements:

- Window profile (window frame, sash, impost);

- Filling (double-glazed window or PVC plate);

- Sealing system;

- Accessories.

When comparing the window blocks of the studied periods used in Siberia, a chronological sequence of the development of structures was distinguished, divided into several stages.

Stage 1 XVII-XVIII centuries

The development of Siberia began with the accession of the peoples of Western Siberia to the Russian state during the first half of the XVII century, the territories of the east, northeast and south of Siberia became part of Russia in the 2nd half of the XVII century. The result of the development of new territories were the first capital buildings prisons. Inside them there were voivodeship and customs huts, barns, a church, a prison, a gostiny dvor.[2]

All the houses were built of wood. At a height of approximately 60-70 cm, several types of windows were cut through: blind and drag windows.

Blind windows had sizes from 50 to 70 cm square or round. Wooden frames were made of planed boards. The elements were tightly inserted one into the other due to the cut-out grooves, and then the frame was placed in the opening. The cracks were plugged with straw and clay. The mica sewn with twisted hair threads was attached to the frame. In peasant houses, fish paius, bull bladder, canvas and thin wooden plates were also used, and even ice was inserted in winter.

The side windows had a sliding construction with a board from the inside. A special board "covered" the window opening, moving between the frame and the window opening. A special chute was cut in the frame of solid wooden bars to reduce the gap between the frame and the opening. The frame itself was twice as long as the window. The provision of light through such windows was minimal. Such windows served as chimneys in houses that were heated "in black". Therefore, this design minimized heat loss from the room.[3]

By the XVIII century, the design of the windows did not change, but improved. The sliding board for insulation was upholstered with cloth or fur.

Figure 1 shows the views of the windows of the Siberian settler of the XVII-XVIII centuries. Figure 2 shows the house of a Siberian settler of the XVII-XVIII centuries.



Figure 1 - Views of the windows of the Siberian settler of the XVII-XVIII century

(a blind window; b - drag window)


Figure 2 - An old house of the XVII-XVIII century in the village of Malta, Irkutsk county [4]

Thus, the window frames were made according to a simple scheme "bar to bar perpendicular", and also served as a fastening of the window filling and its protective elements. All elements of the frames were made of rough-hewn wood.

Stage 2 XIX century

The next stage in the development of window structures dates back to the XIX century . During this period, the technology of housing construction was borrowed from the experience of builders in the European part of Russia. This phenomenon contributed to the expansion of the territories of cities, as well as their number. Taking into account these factors, the requirements for window structures began to change: the height of the window increases, the strapping device changes, decorative design of both jambs and slopes and bindings appears. Drag windows are beginning to give way to deck windows. To fix it in the frame, putty from a mixture of clay and hemp oil began to be used. The edges of the bars have become beveled for beauty and reliability. To keep warm in winter, a second frame was inserted into the opening. Shutters were hung from the outside of the swing structure with one or two sashes. They were attached to the frame by iron hinges.

Figure 3 shows a deck window in a residential building of the XIX century.

Figure 3 Deck window

Glass became widely used in the construction of houses with the growth of glass production in Siberia from the late XVIII early XIX centuries, as well as the import of products from the Urals. [5] Therefore, the thickness of the window frames and strapping decreased, the area of translucent filling increased. It became possible to make window frames of various shapes.

Figure 4 highlights the most common forms of window openings in houses of the XIX century. [6]

Figure 4 Window shapes by outline

The "profile" of window frame elements has become widely manifested in Russia since the end of the XVIII early XIX centuries with the growth of glass production. The profile design coped better with the function of protection against heat loss due to the tighter fit of the glass to the frame. It also improved the architectural appearance of the facade, increasing the area of glazing, and, accordingly, the area of illumination of the room.[7]

Figure 5 Types of the profile of the humpback

"In the XIX century, in winter, in the main residential premises, frames were tightened with a film from the wellcleaned "peritoneum" of cattle, and in the north of the region - from a fish bladder or "burbot skins"" [8]. Also, grooves were made on the window frames to collect meltwater. [9]

To protect the window frames from blowing, platbands began to be used. They were attached to the frames and closed the gap between the frame and the wall. Initially, they were a simple board, but over time they also acquired a decorative function, decorating the facade with patterns and drawings by local craftsmen in many cities of Siberia.

Figures 6 and 7 show window frames decorated with carved platbands and hinged shutters.

Figure 6 A peasant's house of the XIX century (a village in the Tomsk region)

Figure 7 Merchant's house of the XIX century (Krasnoyarsk city)

In the second half of the XIX century, the windows have an opening function. Hinges are attached to the frame, then the sashes are hung. In peasant houses, such a frame design was rare due to the rapid freezing of the hut. In the houses of wealthy representatives of Siberian cities, windows were made with hinged sashes.

Wood prevailed as a material for window frames in Siberia for reasons of accessibility and low cost. The metal frames that began to appear in the European part of Russia were not suitable for the climatic conditions of Siberia, and were also extremely expensive and difficult to manufacture.

Thanks to the launch of the production of glass products, the development of the window design is observed different forms of frames appear, the thicknesses of the frame elements decrease, the nodes of the frame bars joining each other and to the wall of the building are improved. The elements of the window block began to be decorated with paintings and drawings.

Stage 3 XX century

At the beginning of the XX century, apartment buildings made of stone began to be built in Siberia. This type of buildings required a new approach to the design of structures for the normal functioning of the building.

Window block designs have become standardized. The dimensions of the window openings began to be identical for the whole house. Decorative elements of frames began to be used less often, wooden platbands and shutters disappeared. The most common window shape has become a rectangle. At the same time, all windows had the function of ventilation and double glazing. Frames for window openings were made double. The profile of the frame was in the form of a complex stepped figure to provide protection from blowing through the window opening. Window blocks and individual parts began to be manufactured in factories and delivered in the form of ready-made elements. This helped to reduce the tolerances in the gaps. The shape of the bars in the profile has a complex shape.

Figure 8 shows a typical sample of a wooden window frame of the 11 series according to GOST 8780 58.

Figure 8 Construction of the window frame and wooden bars (GOST 8780 58 Series 11)

For lighting industrial and public buildings, ribbon glazing has become widely used this is a continuous series of paired window frames to provide large-area premises with sunlight. Frames for these translucent structures for the first time began to be made of aluminum to increase strength. This design visually increased the volume of the room, and the building itself acquired a complete architectural appearance. However, the outflow of heat through them was very high. Figure 9 shows an example of ribbon glazing in Krasnoyarsk - the building of the Yenisei cinema (1978).

Figure 9 Ribbon glazing of the building

Since the second half of the XX century, GOST standards for window blocks have been introduced [10, 11, etc.]. Until 1991, more than two billion square meters of window blocks were installed [12].

However, according to the results of numerous surveys conducted at the end of the XX century and the beginning of the XXI century, it was found that wooden windows from the period of mass construction of houses are in a state of non-maintainability, largely in a rotten state. [13]

The search for new materials for window frames in the climatic conditions of Siberia has been started since the 1980s. At this time, the first modern translucent structures using polyvinyl chloride appeared in our country. This material is a polymer. PVC production technology includes mixing of components, heating of the mixture, extrusion of the workpiece through an extruder, rolling it with gradual cooling and cutting into bars. By analogy with metallurgy, the concept of "window profile" appears. [14]

The new product had high thermal insulation and sound insulation qualities in comparison with wooden frames. However, the cost of the products was high. [13]

Based on the presented data, it is noted that in the XX century the design becomes simpler, standardized. However, the insulating properties and reliability of the structure have improved due to the mechanization of the production of products, the creation of design and regulatory documentation, which is an important aspect for the climatic conditions of Siberia. The direction of using aluminum or PVC as a material for window profiles began to be studied.

Stage 4 XXI century

In the XXI century, the trend for mass construction of atypical buildings and structures has reappeared in Russia. There is a demand for window blocks with decorative design, non-standard shapes, various color solutions, as well as those that do not require additional insulation, which is especially important in the regions of Siberia.

In the late 1990s, translucent structures began to be imported to the Russian Federation from Poland, Turkey or Germany. Consequently, the designs did not fully comply with the climatic conditions of Russia. Therefore, since the beginning of the 2000s, localization has been taking place first, and then the development of own versions of window profile designs. [15,16]

The design of modern PVC plastic profiles is a chamber with external plastic walls, the space of which is divided into smaller chambers inside, depending on the type of profile a three- or five-chamber profile. The inner chamber is reinforced with an aluminum profile.

Advantages: resistance to aggressive environments, different color solutions, low cost of the product in comparison with analogues. Disadvantages: combustibility, leaves non-recyclable waste.

Figure 10 - Construction of PVC window profiles:

a) three-chamber frame and sash; b) five-chamber frame and sash;. I is the profile of the box (frame), II is the profile of the sash (sash), III is the bead, III is the bead with a coextruded seal;

1 main chamber, 2 drainage chamber (prechamber), 3 chamber for fixing fittings, 4 additional chamber for increasing thermal resistance, 5 reinforcement, 6 - groove for fixing fittings, 7 grooves for attaching additional profiles, 8 groove for fixing the bead, 9 inclined fold for water drainage, 10 drainage, 11 sealing, 12 lining for double-glazed windows.

Window blocks made of PVC profiles have become widely used in the construction industry. However, according to the results of studies [17], the service life of these structures depends on climatic conditions. The large temperature range characteristic of Siberia negatively affects the durability of profiles. Therefore, this feature should be taken into account when using products in Siberia.

Aluminum window profile systems are made of thin-walled profiles in single- and multi-chamber versions (no more than two or three). Profiles are produced by extrusion. According to the thermal characteristics , the profiles are divided into two groups:

"cold profile" used for openings of a large area, in unheated buildings, for partitions, balconies and showcases. Advantages Durability, strength, incombustibility. The main disadvantage of the cold profile is its high thermal conductivity, which limits its scope of application;

"warm profile" used for windows of heated rooms. The "warm profile" is distinguished by the presence of a thermally insulating polyamide insert separating the inner and outer parts of the profile. This reduces the thermal conductivity of the structure. However, the cost of such windows is much higher than that of "cold" ones.[18]


a b

Figure 11 Aluminum window profile systems:

a cold profile; b warm profile

The wooden window profile is made of glued wood. Hardwoods (oak, ash, maple with a density of 450 kg /m3 or more) are used as the basis and coniferous species (pine, spruce, fir, larch with a density of at least 350 kg / m3) of wood. Before processing the material, drying is required (humidity does not exceed 15%), antiseptic impregnation and protection from moisture. Wood processing is carried out with high-precision milling tools. After that, the exact fitting of the parts is performed.

Advantages of wooden profiles: architectural expressiveness of texture; environmental safety of the material; low thermal conductivity (0.13 0.15 W / m * K). Disadvantages of wood: low resistance to the aggressive environment of the material without control over the condition of the product, which can lead to destruction; high cost of production; high qualification of the manufacturer is required. [19]

Figure 12 Window profile made of glued wood:

1, 2 glass with a thickness of 6 mm and 4 mm; 3 low-emission glass with a thickness of 4 mm; 4 remote frame; 5 desiccant; 6, 7 silicone and butyl sealant; 8 base plate; 9 bead; 10 self-expanding film sealant; 11, 15 lower sash bar and boxes; 12 sealer "Deventer"; 13 contour fittings; 14 drainage aluminum profile

Currently, window blocks have become complex structures made of various materials, such as wood, aluminum, PVC. The structures are manufactured on high-precision equipment, which ensures isolation of the premises from noise and dust. The architectural expressiveness of the window elements was again emphasized by the shape, color, size, platbands. At the same time, the thermal characteristics of window profiles allow them to be used in the climatic conditions of Siberia without the use of additional thermal protection.

4 Conclusion

The development of the window profile during the period of the XVII XXI centuries depended, first of all, on the socio-economic and scientific and technical development of the regions.

In the XVII XVIII centuries, window frames had a primitive construction of rough-hewn wood and served as the basis for drag and blind windows. The gaps were closed with improvised materials moss, clay.

In the XIX century, with the growth of the population and the development of industry in Siberia, window frames were supplemented with elements trim, shutters, tides. The window opening acquires artistic expressiveness.

The development of window structures in the XX century is characterized by the stage of standardization of all bearing elements, the rejection of the decorative function of the window, the study of the use of different materials for bearing structures of windows. Tape glazing began to be used en masse. The concept of "window profile" appeared.

By the XXI century, window profiles began not only to be made of different modern materials, to have different designs, shapes and colors, but also to be operated in the climatic conditions of Siberia without reducing the service life.

1. GOST 23166 – 2021 (2021). Window and balcony translucent enclosing structures.General technical conditions [DX Reader version]. Retrieved from https://docs.cntd.ru/document/1200179605.
2. Khromykh, A. S. (2014). History of Siberia (the end of the XVI – XVIII century). Krasnoyarsk, Russian Federation: IPK KSPU.
3. Ivanov, V. A. (2019) How windows appeared. In, History of the Russian Federation [DX Reader version]. Retrieved from https://histrf.ru/read/articles/kak-poiavilis-okna
4. Serebrennikov, I. I. (1915). Monuments of ancient wooden architecture in Irkutsk province. Irkutsk, Russian Federation.
5. Okladnikov, A. P., Shunkov, V. I. (1968). History of Siberia (Vol. 2). Leningrad, USSR.
6. Kryukova, Yu. E., Shagov, N. V. (2013). Evolution of the window opening of a wooden urban dwelling in Siberia (XVII – early XX century.). Bulletin of the Tomsk State University of Architecture and Civil Engineering, 3(40), pp. 88-96.
7. Kiselev, I. A. (2005). Architectural details in Russian architecture of the XVIII-XIX centuries. Moscow, Russian Federation: Academia.
8. Shvetsova M. V. (1898). Notes of the West Siberian Department of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society. Book 25. In, Encyclopedia of the Omsk region. Omsk, Russia.
9. Alisov, D. A., Berezhnova, M. L. (2003). Traditional culture of Russians of Western Siberia of the XIX-XX centuries. Essays on history and everyday life. Omsk, Russian Federation: OOO Publishing house "Science".
10. GOST 8780-58 (1958). Wooden windows and balcony doors for civil buildings. [DX Reader version]. Retrieved from https://files.stroyinf.ru/Data2/1/4294747/4294747730.pdf
11. GOST 6630-53 (1953). Wooden windows and balcony doors for residential and civil buildings. [DX Reader version]. Retrieved from https:// https://nrmsoft.ru/Doclist/doc/384H
12. Spiridonov, A.V. (2012). Trends in the development of the Russian market of translucent structures. Energy saving, 8, pp. 61-67.
13. Spiridonov, A.V. (2013). The current state and prospects for the development of translucent structures in Russia. In I. L. Shubin, V. I. Osipov (Eds.). Glass and ceramics, 10, pp. 33-40.
14. Sheryshev, M. A. (2015). Production of profile PVC products. In, N. N. Tikhonov (Eds.). St. Petersburg, Russian Federation: NOT.
15. Yelnikov, S. V. (2019). Plastic windows history and modern trends. In, Marketing in Russia. 2019: Yearbook of the Guild of Marketers (pp. 36-43.). Moscow, Russian Federation: School Press LLC.
16. Spiridonov, A.V. (2015). Translucent constructions in Russia: yesterday and today. Building materials, equipment, technologies of the XXI century, 1(192), pp. 46-51.
17. Kunin, Yu. S. (2022). Influence of climatic temperature influences on window blocks made of PVC profile. Construction production, 2, pp. 77-82. Moscow, Russian Federation.
18. Boriskina, I. V. (2005). Designing modern window systems of civil buildings. In A. A., Plotnikov, A.V. Zakharov (Eds.). Kiev, Ukraine: Publishing house Domashevskaya O. A.
19. Boldyrev, V. S. (2013). Technology of wood products. Design and manufacture of window blocks. Textbook for students. In D. V. Boldarev, A. I. Tsurikov (Eds.), Voronezh, Russian Federation: VGLTA

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The author submitted his article "The history of the development of the window profile design" to the Architecture and Design magazine, in which a study of the regional features of the creation of translucent structures was conducted on the example of the Siberian region. The author proceeds from the study of this issue from the fact that the use of window structures, the development of the window profile during the period of the XVII XXI centuries depended primarily on the socio-economic and scientific and technical development of the regions. Unfortunately, the article lacks material on the analysis of the scientific validity of the studied problem, which makes it difficult to make provisions on the relevance and scientific novelty of the study. There is no bibliographic analysis in the study. The author also does not substantiate the relevance of the study. The methodological basis is an integrated approach containing descriptive, historical and socio-cultural analysis. The purpose of the study is to study the dynamics of window structure changes depending on socio-economic, scientific and technical development. As a result of the historical analysis, the author identifies four stages in the development of window structures: XVII-XVIII centuries, XIX century, XX century XXI century. As noted by the author, in the XVII XVIII centuries, window frames had a primitive construction made of rough-hewn wood and served as the basis for side and blind windows. The gaps were closed with improvised materials moss, clay. In the 19th century, with the growth of the population and the development of industry in Siberia, window frames were supplemented with elements trim, shutters, tides. The window opening acquires artistic expressiveness. The development of window structures in the 20th century is characterized by the stage of standardization of all bearing elements, the rejection of the decorative function of the window, the study of the use of different materials for window bearing structures. Ribbon glazing began to be used en masse. The concept of a "window profile" appeared. By the 21st century, window profiles began not only to be made of different modern materials, to have different designs, shapes and colors, but also to be operated in the climatic conditions of Siberia without reducing service life. The author provides a detailed description of the technical characteristics of modern window profiles. The author supports all the provisions with visual material. In conclusion, the author presents a conclusion on the conducted research, which contains all the key provisions of the presented material. It seems that the author in his material touched upon relevant and interesting issues for modern socio-humanitarian knowledge, choosing for analysis a topic, consideration of which in scientific research discourse will entail certain changes in the established approaches and directions of analysis of the problem addressed in the presented article. The results obtained allow us to assert that the study of the dependence of changes in material cultural objects, their characteristic features on socio-cultural and technical development is of undoubted theoretical and practical cultural interest and can serve as a source of further research. The material presented in the work has a clear, logically structured structure that contributes to a more complete assimilation of the material. An adequate choice of methodological base also contributes to this. However, the bibliographic list of the study consists of 19 sources, which seems sufficient for generalization and analysis of scientific discourse on the studied problem. The author should expand the list of sources. The author fulfilled his goal, received certain scientific results that allowed him to summarize the material. It should be stated that the article may be of interest to readers and deserves to be published in a reputable scientific publication after these shortcomings have been eliminated. In addition, the article needs to be corrected.