Divide and Conquer

Creating spaces within spaces – especially when those spaces are small – has always been an interior architecture issue.

As open plan layouts fall out of favour somewhat because of noise issues and lack of privacy (I discovered open-plan is not so much fun as your kids get older or when the washing machine’s on) dividers are becoming more and more relevant to architectural planning.

These can be as simple as moveable physical screens – such as GamFratesi’s new hanging fabric ‘leaves’ called Balance – now in production with Cappellini, or Jaime Hayon’s new woven rattan indoor screen for Spanish brand Expormim. But it has also meant a huge increase in crittall window style divides used indoors.

Clement Windows – specialists in steel framed windows – have documented a massive increase in their use as transparent steel and glass dividing walls within domestic and commercial interiors over the last three years – from pretty much zero orders to now as much as 25% of their output.


Bert & May’s own offices in Bethnal Green for example, feature a Clement dividing window / door glass framed wall – using Clement W20 steel sections in Anthracite Grey and 6.4mm laminated glass units – which separates its working offices from the warehouse space. The transparent divides allow a small space within a space to feel enclosed but without losing a sense of being part of a larger environment. It also means you have full view of what’s going on around your home or office. The dark steel frames, meanwhile, add more interest than plain glass (it’s for this reason that Bert’s Small Box – designed for the end of your garden or rooftop - features crittall windows and doors in its design).


Clement Windows also regularly works with architects Stiff & Trevillion on impressive contemporary housing revamps, where framed steel room dividers separate kitchens, bathrooms, wine storage rooms, as well as libraries. For Steven Salt, meanwhile, UK director of Italian kitchen / bathroom specialists Boffi who are increasingly using glass wall dividers in their kitchens and dressing rooms to create rooms within rooms, it’s all a question of maximising light throughout your home whilst trying to make it function to the max: “They manage to increase a sense of space even where there is relatively little.”


Images: Stiff & Trevillion (home office),  Clement Windows (Bert & May).


*Clement Windows: www.clementwindows.co.uk; Stiff & Trevillion: www.stiffandtrevillion.com; Boffi: www.boffiuk.com