Traditionally, houses shield themselves from the outside world – acoustically, climatically and in most cases also visually. The Swiss company Vitrocsa – a pioneer in the field of so-called minimal windows – creates the opposite and allows modern buildings to merge as completely as possible with their surroundings. Based on the principle that the glass supports its frame, Vitrocsa systems replace conventional window frames with simple cladding profiles that are almost invisible. This innovation has completely redefined the boundaries of architecture in its applications over the past 25 years.
Together with dezeen, an online medium for architecture, the company recently presented 10 buildings that make this evident. The examples in deezeen go “from a Foster + Partners-designed villa to a restaurant in a former police station. The floor-to-ceiling windows maximise views and flood rooms with natural light, while enabling a seamless transition between interior and exterior spaces.” writes dezeen in its article.
One end of Headland House in New South Wales features a rectangular glazed wall overlooking the surrounding coastline and farmland. Photo by Michael Nicholson
Stacked glass boxes define Spring Road, a house near San Francisco designed as a tranquil hilltop retreat by EYRC Architects. Photo by Matthew Millman
British architecture firm McLean Quinlan was appointed to deliver a house in Wyoming modelled on a nearby settlers’ cabin dating from 1888. Photo by David Agnello
A rare private residence designed by British studio Foster + Partners, Dolunay Villa has huge areas of glazing on its coast-facing southern side. Photo by Nigel Young
This glass-house pavilion in Herzliya was designed by Tel Aviv studio Pitsou Kedem Architects to have the feel of a hotel spa. Photo by Amit Geron
F House, also in Israel and by Pitsou Kedem Architects, features a glass curtain wall with a large pivoting door from Vitrocsa that swings inward from a private courtyard. Photo by Amit Geron
A trio of full-height, sash-style Vitrocsa guillotine windows face the street at this restaurant in Sydney that occupies a converted 19th-century brick building. Photo by Katherine Lu
Vitrocsa sliding windows divide the living spaces from a private garden at this rooftop apartment in the Sydney suburbs designed by architecture studio SJB. Photo by Felix Forest
The third home designed by Pitsou Kedem Architects on this list is a beachfront house where the studio aimed to maximise the connection with the Mediterranean Sea. Photo by Amit Geron
Kengo Kuma created pavilions for a new complex at a Japanese-style urban garden in Portland, Oregon. To maximise the connection between the interiors and their serene surroundings, the Japanese architect used Vitrocsa sliding windows throughout the scheme. Photo courtesy of Kengo Kuma Associates