A house in Brooklyn, New York, is probably the biggest example of a windowless, glass-walled home.
That house, in the Hudson Valley, is owned by the National Federation of Home Builders (NFHB).
And the NFHB has a pretty good excuse: it has been building them since 1868.
“We have built a whole generation of these homes,” says Michael Lacy, the organization’s vice president of real estate development and innovation.
“It’s a testament to the people who built this country.”
Lacy is a realtor with the firm Urban Real Estate Solutions (URES), which specializes in building windows.
He says that building windowless houses in the 1920s was an attempt to “reduce the cost of building.”
“They didn’t want to buy new and expensive houses,” he says.
“They wanted to build things.”
This is what Lacy calls “a windowless home,” because it’s built without windows.
But why did the NFHSB choose this particular building as its historic model?
The building itself is a little different than most homes built today, Lacy says.
Its facade is mostly glass.
Its walls are covered in wrought iron bars that are bolted to the facade.
The NFHSBs design is “designed for a home where the light of day is at your back,” he explains.
“So you have a great view of your front yard, and the light from your windows reflects through the walls of the house.”
Lacey says the glass walls in the house reflect the light directly into the house.
This is a very different architecture from the one that was popular in the past.
“This house was built in 1868, and in 1869, when it was built, it was called the American Century House,” Lacy explains.
It’s not a typical house in the style of the houses built by the American Revolution, but it’s still designed to reflect the day-to-day living of the time.
Lacy points out that the home was designed to withstand storms.
“When it was being built, the house was flooded and it was designed for a storm that would take it down,” he recalls.
The house was designed with a glass roof.
But in the 1930s, a real estate agent named Thomas Ritchie bought the home and started to work on it, he says, so the roof could withstand the elements.
“He wanted a roof that could withstand hurricanes,” says Lacy.
Ritchie was also trying to make the home affordable.
He needed to sell it at a profit, so he started a company that sold homes at a discount.
Lacey was interested in building a home for the middle class, and he knew that his client wanted to buy it.
Lately, the NFHCB has been doing a lot more windowless homes than they used to.
The organization has built many more window-free homes than in the 1950s.
And there have been many new windowless designs introduced, like one in which the front door is not open, but the back door is.
The windowless design is being built in a lot fewer homes.
There have also been some more glass-covered windows.
This one in Brooklyn is a glass-and-brick house, and it’s been in use for almost 30 years.
“If you look at the architecture, it’s almost as if it was invented by the people living in the windowless house,” says the NFHBS’ Lacy about the building’s design.
Laying a roof to protect your home from the elements is a pretty standard practice today.
“I think people in the building trades have really come to realize that this is a good thing,” says David DeHaan, a professor of architecture at Duke University.
“But what’s going on with windowless housing is not really appreciated by the architects or the designers.”
Lacking windows also means that a lot less of your money is going into the building.
Lazy architect Lacy’s windowless apartment in Brooklyn Lacy has been making a lot, and building lots of, windowless apartments.
The most recent windowless development, in Miami, is the second largest building in the city, behind the $1.6 billion Miami Museum of Art.
But Lacy sees a lot at risk when it comes to the future of windowless living.
“There are going to be a lot people who are going, ‘We’ll just get rid of windows,'” he says about building windowfree homes.
“And I think that that’s going to result in a huge number of people who will be very unhappy and very dissatisfied.”
Lazy’s windowfree apartments are designed to be as small as possible, and Lacy estimates that the average size of a home in his Miami neighborhood is about 40 feet by 20 feet.
“That’s a lot smaller than a typical home in my neighborhood,” he said.
Lacking a lot doesn’t mean a lot