The term lattice window refers to a type of window that has a number of straight or curved bars that are used to hold small pieces of glass. These bars may be made out of wood or metal. In some cases, the bars are functional and hold a few square or rectangular panes of glass in place. In other cases, the metal or wooden interruptions in a lattice window are purely decorative.
In some places, a lattice panel will be used instead of a lattice window. A lattice panel is a lattice window without the glass. This is common in exterior corridors and in regions of temperate weather.
Depending on the design of a lattice window, the pattern that is created within the window frame may be very simple or incredibly detailed. An example of a simple design would be pattern of crossing bars that created diamond-shaped sections of glass within the window frame. A more intricate design might include many pieces of glass of different shapes and sizes to fit into the swoops and swirls of the lattice. The more complicated the design within a lattice window, the more difficult it is to make. These more intricate designs are also usually more expensive than the simpler varieties.
Lattice windows have been used in architecture for centuries. Various designs that are still used today have their roots in antiquity. People who work in the restoration of old buildings often find themselves working to replace lattice windows. Sometimes it is possible to recreate the windows that were original to the structure or to find nearly identical antique lattice windows that have been salvaged from similar buildings. In other cases, an original lattice window must be approximated with a newly manufactured model that is not authentic but often a more affordable option.
Lattice windows are also used in the design of new structures. This is true for a number of kinds of structures including private homes and places of worship. The designs within the frame do interrupt the view to a certain degree, but this is sometimes intentional. A very intricate design within a lattice window might offer a degree of privacy. This can be useful for windows that are on the street level of a building.