Balcony view of Arab building and window



Reprise 3 of 4

Dearest Studio Friends,


Remember how much we love exploring architecture at Studio? Remember all of the shapes and forms of nature surrounding us? At Studio we often found these elements throughout the garden and in Prospect Park: pine cones, bark, sticks, branches, rocks, leaves, paths, beds of water, animals and insects, and the clouds and skyline just beyond the tips of the treetops. Let’s remember the many structures on Earth, and the motion and music of our world that inspires us to imagine and create as architects. At Studio we often played music, moved and danced, built our designs from various pieces, and used objects of all types

to display our ideas for architectural buildings. 


The wonderful and infinite world of architecture consists of buildings, structures, and environments in which people live, play, and work. 


Architecture is designing buildings for people to

live, play, and work in.

Sunrise in forest. Forest sunrise view.


LUMINOUS - Delivering or offering lots of light!


The luminous sunrise daylight broke through the trees and

awakened all in the forest. 









INSPIRATION – Something learned or experienced that generates energy, ideas, and creative perspective. 

Playing in nature gives us a lot of inspiration and happiness and helps us to feel creative!




MULTIPLE – More than one of something. 

We picked multiple oranges in from the orchard of trees and

placed them in large baskets.  


Happy children playing on the beach at t

As we delve into creating architecture, we've focused on how buildings are designed, and the ideas and imaginings that lead to putting together and erecting shapes and structures. 



This week as we further explore architecture, we'll concentrate on one of the most

important parts of a room and a building: a window!

This week you will also design your own window. 


To inspire you in your exploration of windows and how they shape your own view out into the world, look at this gallery of windows across the globe. As you do so, think about these questions:



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  • What windows did you love the most? 

  • What were the shapes of the windows that you viewed?

  • What was most unique about the window frame?

  • Can you tell where in the world some of these windows might be?

  • As you look at these windows, what do you think the rest of the rooms of the building might look like from the inside and out?

  • Based on the window panes and shapes, what shadows do you think may have been cast as a result of the sun moving through these windows?


Draw a picture based on the shapes, windows, and environments you just saw in the photo gallery. Add lots of color to your drawing. Think about the ways in which your shapes and designs came together. How could parts of your design become the shape and structure of a window? 




One of the most inspiring parts of architecture is that windows, which are main parts or features of most buildings, can be any shape that we imagine. And wherever there is wall space within a room, we can imagine a window or two in that space. Some buildings are made almost entirely of glass, so that the walls are actually windows. Some buildings have skylights in addition to windows, or even instead of windows. Skylights and windows are both ways of letting light into a building whereby glass is a major part of the building's structure.


In this gallery, you can find different types of skylights! 










Now that you've seen an array of windows and skylights, it is time to begin thinking about the creation of your own window. Your window can be similar to a window that you already know of and love,

or it can be entirely a new creation. 

Find a window or imagine one that you will create!

If you find a special window to recreate, be sure to take photos of that window. If you print the photos that you take, you can create an art line of those window photographs. These images can be an inspiration to you as you remember finding that window and being in front of it. From there you can continue to design and create from it. If you draw many pictures of the window that you've found--or of the one that you are creating from your imagination--you can also pin these drawings to an art line. 

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The Importance of Sunlight


  • Why is light so important to humans and living beings? 

  • Why are windows such an important part of our activity and to the time we spend inside buildings? 

  • How do rooms look and feel different in the day when light shines through the windows, and at night when there is no daylight in a room? 

  • Does the moon sometimes shine through a window?

Human beings need sunlight in order for our bodies to produce one of the most important vitamins for our health, vitamin D. Vitamin D is key to keeping our whole body healthy and strong and energized. Sunlight also raises our mood and can make us feel more happy and hopeful. Windows allow us to see and feel a part of the outside world, even when we are inside. In particular, when there is a lot of activity and/or nature beyond the windows of a home or building, those inside can feel more connected to the world beyond the room they are in.

They can also feel more inspired in their daily activities. 




As you begin to create, answer these questions:


  • What kind of a building does your window belong to? 

  • Where is the home or building that will hold your window?

  • Are you creating a window for your own house, or is it for another house or building with which you are already familiar? 

  • How big is the room for which you are designing the window? Is it big or is it small?

  • Does your room have multiple windows, or just one?

  • What does the window frame that holds the glass look like? Are there many parts of the frame?


As you answer these questions, you can continue to draw and sketch your ideas, adding to the environment of the window, room, and building. Add these drawings to your art line or put them up on the wall

to inspire you as you keep going with your window design project. 


  • What is the shape of your window? How big is it? Where in the room is it placed? 

  • Will your room have more than one window? If so, will the windows be the same size and shape? Or will they be different from one another? 


It is also okay to just focus on designing one special window!


Begin to draw the shape of your window, including how many different panes of glass it will have. You can continue to add color and texture by using your crayons, markers, and other tools.


You can now bring in some materials like cardboard, construction paper, tissue papers, and anything that is clear or translucent to begin to build out the shape and layout of your window. Create the lines, curves, and angles that will allow your window to be unique, or perhaps your design will enhance the shape and structure of the window that you found that you are now recreating. 

You can use a wall in your house to tape up and arrange the pieces of your window.

It can be like a real window there in your room!





Continue to decorate your window in whatever way you choose. Think of the color that you use upon the window panes as the luminous light and color coming in from the sun and sky outside. Play with colors and brush strokes as directions of the light. Make your window as light and as bright as you choose. As you erect your window, look at it and imagine looking out from your room and building to the outside world. What nature do you imagine seeing? Perhaps you see the sky, the sun, clouds, a river, and mountains on the horizon.






Here Barry Berkus sketches his architectural thoughts as he begins the first stages of designing a family’s home. He takes into consideration where the sun will enter the home, and where the sunrise and sunset will land on the house's structure each day. With this information, he designs a house largely made up of windows in order to let as much light in as possible.



Thinking Like An Architect

Barry Berkus 

Beautiful blazing sunset landscape at ov
Sunrise Tour



Where does the sun rise and set?

What is the difference between the sunrise and the sunset? 


The sunrise happens where we are when Earth turns once more around its axis and our part of Earth faces the sun once more after a long night of a dark sky. Sunrises are beautiful because light spreads all over our environment and wakes us up and begins the day. We too rise with the sun!


The sun rises from the eastern horizon each morning in our part of the world. That means in the early morning, if we go out and look to the east, we will see the sun come up. (East is one of four directions on Earth: east, west, north, and south!) See if you can wake up one morning and go find the sun in the sky. If it is still early in the morning, you will find the sun in the eastern direction, maybe even still near the horizon. As the day moves on, the sun will travel across the sky to the opposite side--the west! Don't forget to notice shadows everywhere created from objects when sunlight hits them!


The sunset is when Earth turns enough on its axis so that our part of Earth no longer faces the sun. When the sun starts to go back below the horizon, we call that the sunset. The setting sun is such a captivating sight that many people make time to regularly watch it. Different colors spread across the sky as it darkens and the stars begin to sparkle again above us. The sun sets each evening in our part of the world in the west. (It rises in the east and sets in the west.)


One evening, perhaps you and your family can go find the sun as it sets below the horizon. This scene can be quite artful as colors dance on the horizon and decorate the clouds. Overnight, the spinning of our planet allows us to greet the sun in the east again the next morning! 


See this video of a time lapse from sunrise to sunset.





One of the most famous architects of all time is Zaha Hadid! We recently read the picture book, The World Is Not A Rectangle, by Jeanette Winter, where we heard Zaha's life story. She was inspired as a child by playing in nature, and she dreamed of growing to become an architect who designed buildings that were much like those of her imagination: with the most unusual and extraordinary shapes, that were not at all rectangles, and that were so much like the forms she saw in nature. Zaha believed that light should be a main part of a building's life and structure. For this reason, she is known for creating hundreds and sometimes thousands of windows on her biggest buildings. See some of Zaha Hadid's most famous buildings below.



The London Aquatics Centre is located at
Guangzhou Opera House.jpg
Heydar Aliyev Center.jpg





As we continue to listen to cello music this week, we'll hear a contemporary composition, Julie-O, written by Mark Summer and performed by cellist Patrick Laird. Julie-O is one of our favorite pieces that we listen to at Studio. It is full of rich colors and textures, the bouncing of the cello strings—pizzicato—and it feels like the music that can accompany a playful and luminous day. In fact, we often play Julie-O at Studio when we welcome families, children, and teachers in the morning. As we listen to Julie-O this week, we can also imagine the sunlight following us, shining on us, and giving us lots of ideas and inspiration, especially through our windows. 

Architecture is music manifest.     



This week Angus will play music and accent it with unexpected sounds, notes, chords, rhythms, and melodies that seem to enter the main piece of music from the outside. We can imagine this intersection of musical expression as sunlight entering a window. 

How To Play - Window & LightAngus Davidson
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Find a calm seat on the floor and become comfortable.


Imagine that you are the luminous sun rising in the morning. You can start with your hands on the floor and slowly bring them up from the sides of your body to meet each other in the middle of your body over your head.


Let your elbows bend a little and allow your arms to find a steady position over your head. Then slowly release your hands and arms from touching and stretch them out in any direction before you. You can spread light to wherever in the world you imagine. 


You can be the sun setting. Return your hands to the center of your body above your head. Over a count of 10 seconds, allow your hands and arms to slowly lower to the sides of your body, extend them, and now spread the luminous light of the evening to decorate the sky. Allow your arms to scatter that light all across the sky as you slowly allow your hands to find the place on the floor beside you. Your sun has set and the air above you is now the night sky. 


You can also imagine the sun creating a rainbow from a shower of clouds meeting its sun rays. You can find a family member and each hold your arms high above your heads to meet each other in the high bow shape of the rainbow's spectrum. You can smile and laugh to allow happiness to move throughout your body, the same type of happiness and lightness that sunshine can bring. 



As you think of different types of windows and sunlight you can:

Imagine sitting in front of the window that you've created and take a deep breath in as you imagine watching the sunrise. 


As the sun reaches the pane of your window, take a deep breath in as you feel the sunlight moving through the window to meet your face. As you exhale, feel how warm and gentle the sun is. 


Still imagining sitting in front of your window, take a deep breath in as you watch shadows start to move outside the window, and the daylight starts to dim.


Imagine looking further out of that window and catching the sun in the west as it begins to set on the horizon. Exhale as you count the number of colors you see as the last light paints big colorful strokes in the clouds. As the last light leaves the sky, imagine you see a luminous pop and glimmer of the final point of the sun in the evening sky. 


Stand up slowly and find your direction. 


Take a deep breath and reach out with one arm stretched out straight from your side towards the east. Slowly raise your arm towards the sky and imagine the eastern morning sun touching your finger tips from its highest point in the sky. Take a deep breath in and a deep breath out. 


Now take a deep breath with one arm stretched out straight from your side to the west. Slowly raise your arm towards the sky and imagine the western sun of the early evening slowly moving away from your finger tips and going down behind the horizon from its highest point in the sky. As the sun shines once more and then sets, take a deep breath in and a deep breath out. 




Human beings love sunlight, so create designs to bring abundant

daylight into building structures.

To think like an architect again:

  • Be fascinated by the way that people live, work, and play, and how they can live more easily and more enjoyably inside buildings. 

  • Research the designs and creations of architects throughout the world. 

  • Wonder about how architecture can be healthiest for our planet. 

  • Create buildings that allow people of all physical abilities to access and move throughout easily and fluidly. 

  • Know what kinds of buildings are best for people in certain types of environments and climates.

  • Collaborate with as many different kinds of people as possible, from as many different places as possible, as you design buildings. 

  • Think of the incredible diversity within the world of nature, cultures, and people as you imagine and create architecture.