Architects often think about projects in terms of systems. It’s one of our strategies for organizing the complexities of construction into a coherent whole. Each system has an order and interfaces with the other building components in a clear way. Windows have a special place in our systems. They help to define site connections, permit or screen views, and modulate natural light entering our spaces. When thinking about how window systems integrate into the larger structure, I like to develop a clear logic that describes how they’re placed in walls, which always requires adopting an attitude toward trim. Trim is a standard vehicle for hiding joints where materials come together — the edges of Sheetrock are a good example. Trim can also set a building in a particular time period.
But to me, the more integrated even a small detail such as trim is with an idea about a place or structure, the more it can support the overall logic of a building. The following projects eschew traditional ideas about trim in service of a bigger, modern idea.