why argue over windows


Last week in a Richmond newspaper, Style Weekly, an article was written about developers building apartments with no windows. I was shocked as I was reading that this is now becoming practice in the city. When the number of units in a building that is needed to make the pro forma pencil is more than what a building can reasonably have with windows, architects are including units without windows and building departments are permitting them to be built. I am flabbergasted with all the research, for example here and here, we have about how light helps regulate mood and body rhythms that people would actually accept this. The article discusses that families need affordable housing and this is one way to get it, but this seems like going back to the dark ages, literally.

I open curtains as soon as I get up in the morning. I need that connection to the outside. I even wrote a short article a few years ago about light, especially daylight, being my favorite part of my home. I can not imagine living a long period of time in a windowless home. I remember hearing a discussion about the homeless population in San Francisco. A social worker said that some people on the street were not homeless. They needed to get outside during the day instead of staying in small, cramped apartments; the sidewalk became their living room and gathering space. I can imagine a person in a windowless apartment would feel the same way. I think communities deserve better. If architects are charged with protecting health and safety, I would argue that windowless homes are not beneficial to a person’s health.

Would you live in a windowless home? would you design one?