When my father built our house, he went against tradition and placed a wall of windows facing due west. The view was amazing, but the 1970's era windows did a poor job of keeping out the heat in the summer or the cold in the winter. My father passed away before the house was finished and since a lot--if not all--of his ideas went with him when he passed, I don't know if he had a plan for those windows to make them more efficient. I'm sure he did. In short, we rarely took advantage of that fantastic view because the room was so uncomfortable.
When it came time to build our house 30 years later we decided against a wall of windows that faced due west. We angled the house to take full advantage of the winter sun, but not the summer sun. We do have a few windows that face west, but nothing like the house where I grew up. Last night the sky blazed orange and red and I went out to snap a few pictures. One window that faces west is in our master bathroom and it's made up of glass bricks. After I snapped a few pictures of the sky, the red from the bathroom drew me in.
The light through the glass can't convey the beauty of the sunset outside, but I like it.