If you head into any major building or business in Chicago or Glenview, it’s likely that you can look up and be treated to the elegant beauty of a skylight window. We associate the clean lines and natural lighting of skylight windows with modern architecture, but the reality is that skylight windows are a rather ancient architectural feature. Join Sparkle Skylights as we go over a brief history of skylight windows.
An Ancient Practice
Since ancient times, people have found ways to let light into their structures. Before glass, the easiest way to do this was to create an open portal. Perhaps one of the grandest examples of this can be found in the Pantheon in Rome. Thanks to the domed design of the ceiling, a small open portal in the very center of the ceiling allows natural light to pour in, effectively lighting the entire temple.
A Renaissance In Lighting
But having an open hole in your ceiling was a great way to invite rain and snow into your building, so it wasn’t uncommon for many early skylights to have a small structure, called a cupola, built on top of them to keep the elements out. Cupolas were extremely common on buildings throughout Europe during the 14th and 15th centuries, and their designs were changed extensively to allow more lighting in while doing a better job of keeping rain and snow out.
A Product Of The Industrial Revolution
While the addition of cupolas was the primary means of letting natural light into a roof for many centuries, the refinement of glass production allowed for industrialized societies to create larger, sturdier panes of glass. These sheets were polished and clear and allowed much more light into a space. With this new technology came the realization that having a direct pane of glass in the ceiling, rather than a cupola, was a far more efficient way to let light into a building. By the 17th century, skylight windows became a mainstay for early industrial cities like London and New York, where massive factories made use of enormous numbers of skylights to light their workspaces. In some cases, it’s not uncommon to find these original panes of glass, still in place even hundreds of years after they were first installed!
Skylight Windows Today
But innovations in the production of glass didn’t end in the industrial era. New skylight glass makes use of insulation to keep the elements and temperature changes out of buildings. They can be framed in wood, metal, and plastic. The improved durability and weather resistance of skylight windows has made them an increasingly more popular addition to modern architecture, as architects and psychologists are realizing the benefits of natural lighting on human health.
Now you can add this timeless touch to your home or business in Glenview. Sparkle Skylights offers high-quality skylight installation services to the greater Chicago area. Allow brilliant natural light to flood your home when you install skylights. Contact us today and ask about our free installation estimates!