Case Study House #26 Blocks Cold Air from its Windows

///Case Study House #26 Blocks Cold Air from its Windows
Case Study House #26 Blocks Cold Air from its Windows2018-09-07T14:07:40+00:00

Cord and his partner Alfonso bought a piece of history when they purchased Case Study House #26. But soon after moving in they knew they faced a challenge blocking the cold air from all their beautiful windows.

The only Case Study house in Northern California, Case Study House #26, was designed by architect David Thorne and built in 1963 in San Rafael California. Four bedrooms, two bathrooms. Under 2,000 square feet. Windows throughout, almost a glass house. So, very drafty windows and doors which let in too much heat in the summer and cold in the winter. Cord and Alfonso needed to solve their chilly air problem without damaging their historic home.

windows block uv rays
block cold air from windows with special shaped frames

The Case Study Homes were commissioned by Arts & Architecture Magazine starting in 1945. The idea: how should American families live post World War II? What does well-designed living for the masses, built out of modern materials, look like?

Cord is a German-born architect who works at Google and studied history and the art of restoration in Berlin. It’s not that he and his partner had to have a mid-century modern house. Number #26 appealed to them, because, “We just liked that it was good design. Very straightforward and very simple. It was very clear and clean and this appealed to us. It was wonderful.”

One contractor who looked at the windows wasn’t comfortable replacing them and it would have been a fortune anyway to get the right insulating glass that was also extremely clear. (Note: much of today’s modern glass has a slight green tint.)

“The building would be a different building with tinted glass,” said Cord.

So for the drafty clerestory windows in the main living area, they bought Museum Grade clear window inserts that block 98% of UV light. The inserts immediately blocked the cold radiating from the original windows.

“This was definitely noticeable right away,” said Cord.

The Museum Grade inserts also protects their art collection from fading in the intense sunlight that characterizes what Cord refers to as a glass house. And he appreciates he can’t see the inserts. They just blend in.


“I am amazed at how well they fit in and how easy it was to install them,” he said.

Cord studied restoration in Germany but never thought he would be in a position to restore and preserve a house of his own. He loves that his decision to buy Indow inserts will leave no trace on the windows of this historic American dwelling.

“I didn’t damage anything.”

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