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Post  148 --by Gautam Shah 


Openings’ treatments are exclusive to the purposes they serve. Such as the orientation (solar exposure, illumination, wind), usages (domestic, commercial, industrial, jails), space units (living areas, kitchens, toilets, store rooms), users (adults, children, disabled, afflicted). Openings’ treatments occur on the outside face -broadly called architectural systems or, on the inside face -largely known as interior treatments. Yet, some treatments are placed within the body of the opening and so do not belong to exterior or interior systems.

There are many exclusive classes of openings' treatments. Other categories of treatments emerge by the contrast they pose.

Architectural treatments generally occur on exterior faces, but also could be a scheme for the internal face or space. Architectural treatment over openings is one that is designed with the building and can be called the prime strategy.

Interior Design treatments occur with the occupation of the building and user is the key reference. These are often improvisations to customize the architectural design. Some features are corrective actions to add or distract the architectural provisions.

Barrier systems control the transactions occurring through openings. The transactions include passage of human beings, pets, insects, objects, light, air, moisture, odours, radiation, sound, etc. Barrier systems through their nature transparency or opacity allow or bar the transactions. The action of barricading by openings’ treatments occurs through passage and refraction, reflection or absorption. Curtains, blinds, mats, screens, lattices, films, etc. are some of the barrier systems.
Protection and insulation systems barricading or filtration devices such as barriers, parapets, grills, trellis and other preventive tools such as curtains and blinds.

Environmental systems are more affective if on the exterior side of the building, however, some openings’ treatments are mounted on the inside face so that their handling is much easier. Weather protection systems and shading devices such as porches, verandahs, Chhajjas, louvres, awnings, projections, galleries, balconies, arcades, planter boxes, all are environmental systems.

Utilities are placed over opening’s to take advantage of the change that occurs near or across it. These include: cloth lines, shelves for planters, hooks and frames for climbers, bird feeds, air conditioners, air coolers, exhaust fans, air curtain fans, lift pulleys, ladders, service cat walks, storm shutters, niches and recesses for diyas (lamps). 

Signs, Symbols are placed over openings for protection, luck, blessings, omen, to cast a good or bad spell, and to ward off evil. Signs are used for identification such as faith, religion, seals, coat of arms, profession, employment or social position, clan or group, educational and other achievements. Abstract presentations to instruct, warn, welcome, bid farewell, declare wishes, feelings or emotions, congratulate, felicitations.

Announcements and Declarations are placed over entrance or exit openings like doors and gates to catch attention of passerby. These include messages, honours, notices, results, legal orders, declarations of rights and prohibitions, seals, employment or social position.

Identification systems allow a visitor (entering or exiting) to declare, register or celebrate. The identifier systems are declarative through visual, audio and other sensorial faculties or mere registering (recording, acknowledging, checking devices). The identification system associated with openings are: bells, knockers, buzzers, talking pipes, chimes, whistles, sirens, rattlers, vibrators, horns, intercoms, video recognition and surveillance systems, finger, retinal image, DNA and other bio recognition devices.

 Decorations are declaration as well as objects for occupation or possession of space. Toran, Festoons, Plants, shrubs, Bonsai, flower arrangements, climbers, dry arrangements, artificial plants, pots, vases, baskets.

Figurines, artifacts, statuettes, seals are placed over doors of public, religious and also on residences. The purpose is for declaration of faith or affinity, or protection such as the Chinese warlords as door gods, or Ganesha as vignaharta (the trouble shooter).

Masking or Framing systems are placed over the opening to modify the view in or out and to adjust the size of the aperture. Traceries have been used in Gothic windows. Toran have been used over Indian doors as decoration and to ward off birds flying in. Grills are used to impose patterns on the view. Sheer curtains are used to tone the brightness.

Openings’ treatments as scaling device have been used to enhance or reduce the size or importance of the opening. These systems have in many periods of history become very stylized, overwhelming the architecture. Doors and gates have elaborate doorways and gateway structures.

         OTHER CATEGORIES are the contrasting entities.

External versus Internal systems of openings’ treatments. The former, are more exposed to the effects of environment and are usually more substantial or structural in nature. The later ones are in protected or interior locations and so can be very delicate in nature. External treatment substantially depend on their scale and form to be operative, whereas the interior systems take the advantage of their sensorial qualities to be effective.

Hard and Soft Furnishings as openings’ treatments, both are interior elements. However, soft furnishings consist mainly of fabrics and to a very small extent other pliable materials like paper, leather, etc. Some plastic sheets and films come within soft furnishing category. Soft furnishing items for openings’ treatment are not very long lasting and must be replaced frequently. Hard furnishings are qualified by their rigid format and permanence. Hard furnishing treatments are not easily detachable.

Seasonal or temporary treatment systems are meant to for a season or occasion, beyond which these are removed, stored for the next use or discarded. There no effort to integrate such opening treatments unless the effort to mount them requires technical expertise and heavy man-power.

Fixed systems versus Manipulable systems. Fixed opening treatment system require no triggering of any mechanism to be operative, or need to be intensified or slowed down. Manipulable system offer a series of choices through mechanical stops or rests, electrical energy step up-down and boost-stop systems, programmed choices.

Individual against Collective treatment systems. An individual system relates to single opening, and does not occur as the intervening unit between openings. A collective system ties up or disciplines several openings by providing a reference, linkage or a common enclosure.

Personal systems and Public systems allow use of an opening by the single user or offering customized facility. A public system is meant for large number of users often neglecting the needs of individual users. Public systems may be controlled away from the opening, by someone, often a non user.

Revealing versus Camouflage systems. A revealing system allows the ‘original’ character of the opening, but a camouflage system conceals the opening. A camouflage system may even completely negate the opening itself.


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