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Architectural Windows

Architectural Windows

Architectural windows are a hallmark of timeless elegance and unique style, and they have found a special place in the fine homes of Chicago. These windows are known for their distinctive designs that often serve as focal points, making them a popular choice among homeowners who appreciate both aesthetics and functionality. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the world of architectural windows, their significance in the architectural landscape of Chicago, and answer common questions about these exquisite windows.

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Architectural Windows Customization Options

Exterior/Interior Finishes

Solid finishes

Solid white finish
Solid almond finish

Painted finishes

Our paint has been specially designed for vinyl windows and engineered for maximum durability and heat reflection:

  • Non-toxic, non-hazardous, non-flammable, environmentally friendly, lead- and chromium-free;
  • Has excellent cohesion to the vinyl. It is elastic and moves with the vinyl as it expands and contracts. Also, the paint has exceptional abrasion and impact resistance.
  • Ensures both long-term color retention and low heat absorption.
Painted bronze finish
Painted black finish

Laminated finishes

The laminate films endure a series of rigorous tests performed within the Grafco laboratory. These tests include heat reflectivity, Delta E (fade factor), distortion and adhesion, allowing us to offer a lifetime warranty.

Laminated light oak finish
Light Oak
Laminated dark oak finish
Dark Oak

Some of the Custom Color Options

Painted royal bronze finish
Royal Bronze
Painted cocoa finish
Painted bonneville green finish
Bonneville Green

Insulated Glass Units

Double- and Tripple-pane Glass Units

Our window and door products feature insulated glass units (IGU) with dual or triple pane combinations.

Solid white finish
Double glass unit
Solid almond finish
Tripple glass unit

Thickness ranges from 0.708" to 1.417" (18-36 mm) depending on the product. Glass panes are available in various thicknesses and types.

Coated glass, tints, and patterns are available for double and triple pane units. NEAT® coating on the exterior surface allows for easy cleaning.

Energy-efficient Spacers

The energy-efficient spacer systems used are stainless steel INTERCEPT UltraSpacer®, Endur, and organic SuperSpacer®. The spaces between the glass can be filled with dry air, argon, or a mix of argon/krypton gases.

Solid white finish
Solid white finish
Endur® Warm Edge
Solid white finish
Super Spacer®

All glass units meet industry standards and undergo frequent electronic quality checks. IGUs have a 20-year warranty for seal failures, the highest standard in the industry.

Glass Options


Cardinal LoE coated glass performance

LoĒ-270 Coated Glass

LoĒ coated glass delivers year-round comfort in any weather. In summer, it rejects the sun’s heat and damaging UV rays. In winter, it reflects heat back into the room.

LoĒ-366 Coated Glass

LoĒ-366 is a clear coating that blocks even more solar gain, reflects heat, and lets the light stream in. It even outperforms the tinted glass often used in warm climates.

Cardinal LoE-270 coated glass
LoE-270 coated glass
Cardinal LoE-366 coated glass
LoE-366 coated glass


Cardinal Annealed glass
Annealed glass break pattern (not safety certified)
Cardinal Tempered glass
Tempered glass break pattern (meets safety criteria)
Cardinal Laminated glass
Laminated glass break pattern (meets safety criteria)

Annealed glass

Annealed glass, commonly known as the standard glass, undergoes a thermal treatment process followed by slow cooling to eliminate internal stresses. It is commonly utilized in applications where safety considerations are not a primary concern.

Fully tempered glass

Fully tempered glass is significantly stronger than annealed glass, with a strength four times greater. In the event of breakage, it shatters into small, safe pieces, minimizing the risk of injury.

Heat Treated Glass

Heat-strengthened glass undergoes a slower cooling process compared to tempered glass, resulting in a lower compression strength. However, it still provides approximately twice the strength of annealed glass.

Laminated Glass

Laminated glass can withstand strong impacts. It is a superior solution to safety glazing.

Laminated glass does more: it is the type of safety glazing that also remains intact within the window frame.


Neat Glass

Unlike regular exterior window surfaces, Neat glass requires minimal maintenance. With Neat technology, the glass stays cleaner for longer periods. And when the time comes to clean, you'll find it quick and effortless.

Cardinal Neat glass

Grid Options

Decorative grids or blinds can be added and are sealed within the glass units.

Farmhouse grid style
Farmhouse grid style
Colonial grid style
Colonial grid style
Praire grid style
Praire grid style

Understanding Architectural Windows

Architectural windows encompass a wide range of designs and styles that go beyond standard window shapes. These windows are designed to be more than just functional; they serve as artistic elements that enhance the overall beauty and character of a building.

Architectural Windows in Chicago

Architectural windows are a common sight in the fine homes of Chicago for several reasons:

  1. Unique Style: In a city celebrated for its architectural diversity, architectural windows offer homeowners a unique opportunity to add a personal touch to their homes, creating a distinct look that stands out in the neighborhood.
  2. Historical Significance: Chicago is rich in architectural history, and many homeowners choose architectural windows to pay homage to the city's historic and iconic architectural styles.
  3. Enhanced Aesthetics: Architectural windows are known for their ability to transform the appearance of a building, making them a preferred choice for those looking to elevate their home's curb appeal.

Common Architectural Window Styles

Architectural windows come in various styles, each offering a unique look and feel:

  1. Gothic Arch Windows: These windows feature pointed arches at the top, reminiscent of Gothic architecture. They add a sense of grandeur to homes.
  2. Round-Top Windows: Rounded or semi-circular tops give a softer, more elegant look to windows, often found in Romanesque or Victorian styles.
  3. Palladian Windows: Named after the Italian architect Andrea Palladio, these windows feature a central arched window flanked by two rectangular windows, creating a harmonious and symmetrical look.

Architectural windows offer an extraordinary opportunity to infuse elegance and uniqueness into Chicago homes. When considering architectural windows, it's essential to consult with a reputable window professional who can help you explore the various styles and designs available, as well as ensure a seamless installation. With the right architectural windows, you can transform your home into a masterpiece that captures the essence of Chicago's rich architectural heritage while reflecting your personal style and taste.

Frequent Questions Answered

Are architectural windows energy-efficient?
The energy efficiency of architectural windows depends on their design, materials, and installation. Properly installed and insulated architectural windows can be energy-efficient, especially when combined with high-quality glass.
Can I install architectural windows in an existing home?
Yes, it is possible to install architectural windows in an existing home, although it may require some modifications and professional expertise to ensure a seamless fit.
Are architectural windows suitable for modern homes in Chicago?
Absolutely! Architectural windows can add a unique and contemporary flair to modern homes in Chicago, creating a stunning contrast with sleek, minimalist designs.
Do architectural windows require special maintenance?
Architectural windows may require occasional maintenance, such as cleaning and refinishing, depending on the materials used. Regular upkeep will help preserve their beauty and functionality.