Feature Article /
Dec 21, 2017

Geometry and Views Guide Window Selections for Modern Seattle Gem

Kolbe windows in a Seattle remodel by Janof Architecture

“The unique thing about VistaLuxe is there’s a very slim corner profile, so the corner almost dissolves.” — Amy Janof, AIA, Janof Architecture

Surrounded by water and mountains, many Seattle homes are blessed with killer views. But maximizing them often requires thoughtful design and creativity.

That was the case for this home remodel in the city’s Magnolia neighborhood. The property offered views of the downtown skyline and Mt. Rainier beyond—but at a 45-degree angle. Architect Amy Janof, AIA, seized the opportunity to solve the problem through a distinctive, contemporary design.

Kolbe 2017 AIA Gemstones AC709

“We used corner windows throughout the house so you were encouraged not to look out the south façade or the west façade but rather out of the southwest corner because that’s where the view is,” says the principal of Janof Architecture.

Janof chose Kolbe’s VistaLuxe windows because, with their slim profile, “the corner almost dissolves.”

Kolbe 2017 AIA Gemstones AC706

The narrow frame also allowed her to accommodate the clients’ desire for a Mid-Century Modern inspiration and the clean lines of aluminum windows from the ’50s. Of course, Kolbe’s aluminum-clad wood units are much more efficient, able to meet Seattle’s stringent energy codes.

The architect also drew inspiration from the wife, who is a gemologist by trade, incorporating faceted geometries and compound angles. They take shape most visibly in a series of diagonal roofs, which cantilever at the corners against the vertical expanse of windows, creating a dramatic floating effect.

Kolbe windows were used in a Seattle remodel by Janof Architecture

     Kolbe’s VistaLuxe corner windows combine with lift-and-slide doors for stunning views. 

Janof credits the builder, Joseph McKinstry Construction Co., for its meticulous installation of the windows, whose flush design against the angled roofline left zero margin for error. “Most of the time architecture is right angles,” Janof notes. “You don’t find a lot of compound angles where they’re tilting one way and another simultaneously.”

The unique approach resulted in a home that is as eyecatching as the views it was designed to capture.

Kolbe 2017 AIA Gemstones AC707


This story originally ran in the Nov/Dec 2017 issue of PRODUCTS magazine. See the print version here

Katy Tomasulo

Katy Tomasulo writes about construction and design from her home on Bainbridge Island, Wash.

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