Minimalist Windows: Erasing the Boundary Between Indoors and Outdoors, Pivoting window in Faruz House / Pitsou Kedem Architects. Image © Amit GeronPivoting window in Faruz House / Pitsou Kedem Architects. Image © Amit Geron
Written by Valeria Montjoy
Like a beautiful painting, windows showcase interiors and frame landscapes that connect users to the outside world, directing our eyes to what really matters. But besides framing views and facilitating visual communication, windows serve multiple essential functions that make them vital components in any project. They illuminate homes with sunrays, provide natural ventilation, filter light, insulate from cold and heat, block water and ensure protection. As most design professionals would agree, glazing also plays a crucial aesthetic role; its materials, style and dimensions certainly make a significant difference in the appearance of facades and spaces.
Therefore, as an expressive part of any building, the choice of windows must not be taken lightly by homeowners and architects, especially considering the infinite types available in the construction market. Modern design trends, however, point towards a very clear direction: tall, expansive windows that prioritize views, light and transparency are more in style than ever. With their clean lines and minimalistic design, these achieve a sleek, elegant look that enhances the aesthetics of contemporary buildings, essentially erasing the boundary between the outdoors and the indoors.
Sliding windows in Makena House / Walker Warner Architects. Image © Matthew MillmanSliding windows in Makena House / Walker Warner Architects. Image © Matthew Millman
A powerful design statement through maximum transparency
With these modern demands in mind, Vitrocsa has developed a series of custom minimalistic window systems that meet the specifications of contemporary projects, responding to architects’ most audacious requests. Adopting the ‘less is more’ philosophy, Vitrocsa windows utilize maximum hidden components and minimum materials for optimum efficiency. How? Replacing traditional frameworks, these support themselves with virtually invisible profiles. The more than 1,000 components are concealed in the ground, and their complex parts remain unnoticed – ultimately achieving a simplicity through complexity.
!Sliding windows in Z House / Milic Harel Architects. Image © Amit GeronSliding windows in Z House / Milic Harel Architects. Image © Amit Geron
As a result, the frame only constitutes 5% of the entire surface, with the remaining 95% destined to glass. When it comes to the size of the window frames, this is only limited to the biggest glass panel dimensions available in the market. Thus, with these proportions, the system becomes a strong architectural statement whilst achieving the greatest possible transparency, flooding homes with natural light and enabling a total immersion in the landscape.
When the notions of indoor and outdoor are abolished, partitions fall and boundaries are forgotten, making way for a fusion between nature and the architecture. – Vitrocsa
Sliding windows in Laguna Beach House / Kanner Architects, Stephen Kanner. Image © Emil KaraSliding windows in Laguna Beach House / Kanner Architects, Stephen Kanner. Image © Emil Kara
Furthermore, the seamless glazing solution is easily installed by certified trained installers. And by being thermally sound, it is adaptable to different climatic conditions, allowing buildings in colder temperatures – that typically wouldn’t be able to install large-window framing – to integrate the system in their designs. The windows are versatile in format and design, with double or triple glazing options and various types of glass, including colored, acoustic, mosquito-resistant, solar control and security glass. They can also easily integrate with other doors, windows, glazed extensions and screens.
Four window systems for multiple applications
Vitrocsa offers four innovative window systems – sliding, guillotine, pivoting and turnable corner – that are ideal for a wide array of commercial and residential applications. In all of these, the structure can be anodized or powder-coated in all RAL colors. To learn more about each system, below we explore their unique characteristics.
Prioritizing simplicity, the sliding window is a space-saving solution that is ideal for achieving openness and spaciousness. With a roller bearing system made from stainless steel that adapts to saline environments, it is suitable for capturing water views. It also stands out because of its high design flexibility. Fixed or sliding, the vertical profile is 18 mm in width and is only limited by the maximum surface area of the glass, creating a modern ‘wall of glass’ effect. It is available in different applications for varying needs, such as: curved, pocket, open angle and with an invisible frame.
Sliding windows in Casa Thomsen / Costa Calsamiglia Arquitecte – Guim Costa Calsamiglia. Image © Marcela GrassiSliding windows in Casa Thomsen / Costa Calsamiglia Arquitecte – Guim Costa Calsamiglia. Image © Marcela Grassi
Rotating on a vertical axis that creates an elegant swinging motion, the solution opens vertically on a right, left or central pivot. Locking and sealing are assured by a mobile rack blade and can be combined with a cylinder with key, an electric lock or a two-point lock. With a vertical profile width of 18 mm, these pivoting windows allow for smooth transitions and endless creative possibilities while becoming a grand, sleek design feature that is unmatched in contemporary buildings.
Pivoting window in Faruz House / Pitsou Kedem Architects. Image © Amit GeronPivoting window in Faruz House / Pitsou Kedem Architects. Image © Amit Geron
The basic guillotine window consists of two vertically sliding frames, which create height and maximize the passage of sunrays. Multiple fixed and mobile configurations are possible – either hidden or visible –, maintaining a vertical profile width of 18 mm. Perfectly balanced, the movable panes (maximum 500 kg per glass) can be manipulated with a few grams of thrust, either manually or motorized. They can operate in one of two ways: with two identical glass panes that counter-balance one another or using a counterweight system ridden in the wall.
Guillotine window in Grand Park Hotel, Rovinj / 3LHD. Image © Jure ŽivkovićGuillotine window in Grand Park Hotel, Rovinj / 3LHD. Image © Jure Živković
Freeing up surface and corner space, the architectural solution optimizes space and opens up views. This is possible by using a bearing principle that completely frees up the glazed components from the passageway. The glass panels can be dimensioned up to a surface area of 6 m² and a weight of 250 kg, each being able to slide independently and turn in the corners so that they can be stored within a dedicated area – hence incorporating the view as an integral part of the building.
Turnable corner windows in Château Troplong Mondot / Agence Moinard Bétaille – Bruno Moinard & Claire Bétaille. Image © Romain RicardTurnable corner windows in Château Troplong Mondot / Agence Moinard Bétaille – Bruno Moinard & Claire Bétaille. Image © Romain Ricard
Regardless of their specific design and format, these minimalistic windows aim to make a bold impression in any contemporary building, melting into their environment by taking transparency, creativity and innovation one step further. To learn more about their functional and aesthetic qualities, visit this product catalog or Vitrocsa’s website.