The history behind the iconic design of a bay window

The bay window is an icon of style; sophisticated and sleek while adding an abundance of light and beauty to the home. Created from an arch of windows extending from an exterior wall, they not only maximise interior light, they also make the home appear larger.

Origins in Europe
Due to their attractive and appealing appearance, bay windows have been extensively used in both commercial and residential settings.

The bay window first originated in mansions during the English Renaissance and were traditionally placed in great halls. Many of the early types of bay window were oriel windows,with an ornamental purpose rather than function. However, in the Gothic era, the bay window served a purpose in small chapels built within larger churches, and parishioners used these windows for private worship. They were also widely used during the Victorian era, particularly in Britain, and many examples can be found in flats, detached houses and terraced homes.

Influence from the Chicago School

The bay window first gained popularity in the United States as a result of its use in the Chicago School. Its architectural style first originated in the city’s buildings in the early 20th century.

William Le Baron Jenney, a prominent civil engineer and architect of the era, utilised bay windows in many of his architectural designs as a way to boost natural light. Most famously,Jenney used the windows in the Manhattan Building at a time when buildings were steel structures, and typically, of minimal adornment.

Modern applications

Today, bay window is a term used to define any window construction which extends from the building’s exterior wall, and are available in a wide range of designs. To select your own bay window for your home, contact a company such as firmfix.co.uk/windows/bay-windows.

The modern bay window is usually a square or polygonal shape, and can be found across the world. Particularly popular in Europe is the box bay window, a square or rectangular shaped box style. In contrast, the circle bay window is adorned with decorative features such as crown molding, creating a dramatic feature in the home.

There are many reasons to choose the bay window for your home, as they maximise the space,add natural light and improve curb appeal. They also create an ideal nook for indoor plants,window seats and decorative items.