8 Outstanding Examples of Round Windows in Modern Homes

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By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo / Published by Dwell
After noticing a number of projects that feature interesting circular windows, we decided it's time to give them a moment in the spotlight.

Historically, round windows were regularly used in the stained-glass designs found in medieval churches. They could also be found in ships where they acted as portholes for passengers to watch the sea pass by from within. Today, they've been implemented into numerous modern homes and commercial buildings in ways that are both thoughtful and unexpected. Take a look at some interesting examples we've discovered recently.

Brutalist Concrete Home Gets Injected With Light

8 Outstanding Examples of Round Windows in Modern Homes - Photo 1 of 8 - This home took inspiration from the brutalist buildings found in its Tel Aviv neighborhood. The home is comprised of two concrete squares stacked on top of each other, with a skylight running along the entire length of the stairwell, flooding the home with sunshine. Sections of the silicate-brick walls have circular holes cut out from them in order to connect the various rooms visually.

This home took inspiration from the brutalist buildings found in its Tel Aviv neighborhood. The home is comprised of two concrete squares stacked on top of each other, with a skylight running along the entire length of the stairwell, flooding the home with sunshine. Sections of the silicate-brick walls have circular holes cut out from them in order to connect the various rooms visually.

8 Outstanding Examples of Round Windows in Modern Homes - Photo 2 of 8 - The owners of this home wanted a new addition to their backyard that can serve as an independent home for their teenage daughter when she gets older. They turned to Melbourne-based practice Austin Maynard Architects to get the job done. The solid brick facade is softened by a roof parapet with a U-shaped curve, a sculptural spiral staircase that links the pool to the roof deck, arched doors, and circular windows. 

The owners of this home wanted a new addition to their backyard that can serve as an independent home for their teenage daughter when she gets older. They turned to Melbourne-based practice Austin Maynard Architects to get the job done. The solid brick facade is softened by a roof parapet with a U-shaped curve, a sculptural spiral staircase that links the pool to the roof deck, arched doors, and circular windows. 

8 Outstanding Examples of Round Windows in Modern Homes - Photo 3 of 8 - At this family home in Lima, Peru, well-placed transparencies and foliage provide both openness and privacy within the city, while the sinuous form invites internal cross-communication. Bubble-like portholes in the concrete swimming pool, for example, let underwater Gioia wave to her father in his study. "There’s a real sense of being connected," says one of the homeowners.

At this family home in Lima, Peru, well-placed transparencies and foliage provide both openness and privacy within the city, while the sinuous form invites internal cross-communication. Bubble-like portholes in the concrete swimming pool, for example, let underwater Gioia wave to her father in his study. "There’s a real sense of being connected," says one of the homeowners.

8 Outstanding Examples of Round Windows in Modern Homes - Photo 4 of 8 - BKK Architects designed this 44-apartment block in a suburb of Melbourne with six porthole windows to provide a strong focal point. The windows span almost the full height of six cubes that face the street and flood the interiors with natural light.

BKK Architects designed this 44-apartment block in a suburb of Melbourne with six porthole windows to provide a strong focal point. The windows span almost the full height of six cubes that face the street and flood the interiors with natural light.

8 Outstanding Examples of Round Windows in Modern Homes - Photo 5 of 8 - Designed by Coop Himmelb(l)au and HMC Architects, the Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts, known unofficially as Grand Arts High School, is a magnet, public high school in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The school's distinctive architecture features porthole-like windows in different sizes along one of the exterior walls. 

Designed by Coop Himmelb(l)au and HMC Architects, the Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts, known unofficially as Grand Arts High School, is a magnet, public high school in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The school's distinctive architecture features porthole-like windows in different sizes along one of the exterior walls. 

8 Outstanding Examples of Round Windows in Modern Homes - Photo 6 of 8 - Fronted by an ocean liner-inspired, stainless-steel facade and riddled with porthole windows, the grand exterior of the Dream Downtown Hotel (formerly the Maritime Hotel) was redesigned by Frank Fusaro in 2011 and pays homage to the location's 1960s roots as the National Maritime Union headquarters. 

Fronted by an ocean liner-inspired, stainless-steel facade and riddled with porthole windows, the grand exterior of the Dream Downtown Hotel (formerly the Maritime Hotel) was redesigned by Frank Fusaro in 2011 and pays homage to the location's 1960s roots as the National Maritime Union headquarters. 

8 Outstanding Examples of Round Windows in Modern Homes - Photo 7 of 8 - The porthole window in the master bedroom of this maritime-inspired abode in Canda's Magdalen Islands evokes the sea while also providing a direct view of it.

The porthole window in the master bedroom of this maritime-inspired abode in Canda's Magdalen Islands evokes the sea while also providing a direct view of it.

8 Outstanding Examples of Round Windows in Modern Homes - Photo 8 of 8 - On Bainbridge Island, just outside Seattle, architect Jason McLennan lived in this five-story home he calls his "tree house tower." The builders rescued touches from an old ship in a nod to the local maritime industry—such as these ship porthole windows.

On Bainbridge Island, just outside Seattle, architect Jason McLennan lived in this five-story home he calls his "tree house tower." The builders rescued touches from an old ship in a nod to the local maritime industry—such as these ship porthole windows.