A Comprehensive Guide to the Types and Applications of Curtain Walls

A Comprehensive Guide to the Types and Applications of Curtain Walls

Oct 16, 2023

Curtain walls are not merely a part of building envelopes; they are statements of modern architecture, blending aesthetics, functionality, and sustainability. Aparna-Craft, a renowned provider of façade system solutions, understands the significance of curtain walls in today’s construction landscape. In this article, we will delve into the world of curtain walls, exploring their types, applications, and explore the innovative use of glass curtain walls that define the art and science of contemporary modern building design.

Understanding Curtain Walls

Curtain walls are non-structural building façades that primarily consist of glass, metal, or other materials, serving as an external skin to a building. These walls are designed to provide a weather-resistant barrier, natural light, and a visually striking appearance. Curtain walls are a vital component of modern architecture, delivering a seamless blend of form and function.

Types of Curtain Walls

Stick-Built Curtain Walls:

Stick-built curtain walls are one of the most common types of curtain walls. They are assembled on-site piece by piece. Vertical mullions (structural elements) are installed first, followed by the horizontal transoms, and finally, the glass panels. This method offers flexibility in terms of design and is suitable for complex façades.

Unitized Curtain Walls:

Unitized curtain walls are pre-fabricated in a factory and then transported to the construction site in large, ready-to-install units. These units are typically larger and can be installed more quickly than stick-built systems. Unitized curtain walls are ideal for projects with tight schedules.

Spider Glass Curtain Walls:

Spider glass curtain walls are known for their minimalistic design. These systems use stainless steel point-fixings (spiders) to support the glass panels. Spider glass curtain walls offer unobstructed views, making them a popular choice for modern buildings.

Double Skin Curtain Walls:

Double skin curtain walls consist of an outer and inner layer, often with a gap in between that is filled with air. This design improves thermal insulation and soundproofing, enhancing the building’s energy efficiency and acoustic comfort.

Custom Curtain Walls:

Custom curtain walls are designed to meet unique architectural and structural requirements. These systems offer the utmost flexibility in terms of design, materials, and performance characteristics.

Applications of Curtain Walls

Curtain walls find extensive applications in a wide range of building types, including:

Commercial Buildings: Curtain walls are frequently used in commercial skyscrapers, office complexes, and shopping centres to create a modern and visually appealing façade.

Residential Buildings: High-end residential buildings often feature curtain walls to provide unobstructed views, natural light, and a sense of spaciousness.

Educational Institutions: Schools and universities use curtain walls to create well-lit and inviting learning environments.

Healthcare Facilities: Curtain walls are employed in healthcare settings to promote natural light and a comfortable atmosphere.

Hospitality Industry: Luxury hotels and resorts utilize curtain walls to offer panoramic views and elegant ambiance.

Cultural and Recreational Buildings: Museums, theatres, and sports arenas benefit from curtain walls to create unique architectural statements and enhance visitor experiences.

Innovative Use of Glass Curtain Walls

Glass curtain walls have become synonymous with contemporary architecture. Here are some key benefits and innovative uses of glass curtain walls:

Natural Light: Glass curtain walls maximize natural light, reducing the need for artificial lighting and creating a more comfortable indoor environment.

Energy Efficiency: Advanced glazing technologies in glass curtain walls provide effective insulation, improving energy efficiency and reducing heating and cooling costs.

Sustainable Design: Glass curtain walls are used in conjunction with high-performance, low-E coatings to create a sustainable building envelope that minimizes heat transfer and reduces a building’s carbon footprint.

Aesthetic Freedom: Glass curtain walls offer limitless design possibilities, enabling architects to create iconic, transparent façades that define the visual identity of a building.

Thermal Comfort: Insulated glass curtain walls maintain a comfortable interior temperature by minimising heat gain or loss, ensuring the well-being of occupants.


Curtain walls are more than just building envelopes; they are the embodiment of modern architecture’s synergy with technology, sustainability, and aesthetics. Aparna-Craft, with its commitment to façade system solutions, understands the pivotal role that curtain walls play in shaping the skyline of cities and the experiences of building occupants.

From the flexibility of custom curtain walls to the minimalist elegance of glass curtain walls, these systems are a testament to the fusion of form and function. Curtain walls not only protect and insulate buildings but also celebrate the transparency of design, inviting the outside world in.

In an era of evolving architectural trends and environmental consciousness, curtain walls have emerged as a symbol of innovation and sustainable design, making them a defining feature of contemporary urban landscapes.


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