A curtain wall is just one of the principal way of expression in contemporary architecture. It is a non-load-bearing wall, usually made from metal and glass, mounted in front of a structural framework. Curtain walls are suspended in the building’s construction, rather than being a part of the construction itself; their creation in the early 19th century (the Hallidie Building at San Francisco is considered the first instance, dating to 1918) broke strongly from the traditional architectural expression of little windows in heavy walls. Early curtain walls were made from steel frames using single-pane glass, but advances in technology and sustainability concerns are made aluminum framing with insulated glass the standard now.
Curtain walls are utilized primarily in office buildings in addition to in multifamily and institutional buildings. Yet they are also found in houses, primarily contemporary ones of at least two floors.
The first two photos show a contemporary house in Nashville in the outside and indoors. Curtain walls usually span vertically, as is true here, meaning there’s some design freedom from the place of the horizontal and other mullions in between.
Most curtain walls possess a regular grid of framing, allowing for a variety of infill pieces: clear glass, spandrel glass (solid, single-pane glass in front of insulating material ), metal panels, operable windows and even doors.
One of the main qualities of curtain walls is transparency, which some people want and many others find to be produce the feel of living in a fishbowl. Regardless of photos such as these, just about all buildings with curtain walls include blinds, curtains or other shading elements to cut down on solar heat gain and maintain privacy.