ISSUE 81  |  Best of Architecture

Sliding Doors Inspired by a Midcentury Masterpiece

July 15, 2013 11:00 AM

BY Julie Carlson

Architect Julian King (a member of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory) clued us in to Swiss company Vitrocsa’s precision glass system a while back; certainly the most elegant sliding doors we’ve ever seen (plus, how could you not love a company that makes a “guillotine window”?).

Eric Jouray, who founded VItrocsa in 1993, applied precision Swiss watch technology in the design of his minimalist windows, which have a vertical sight line of only three-quarters of an inch. Inspired by California architecture of the 1940s (the Case Study House #22 by Pierre Koenig, in particular), Jouray created a minimal system that would take into account modern energy requirements as well as the architectural mandate to incorporate very large sliding units. The result is a window where the glazing becomes a structural element that “in itself supports the window rather than merely filling a frame.” So it’s not surprising that high-end Pritzker Prize-winning architects like Tadao Ando, Herzon & de Meuron, and Eduardo Souto de Moura have incorporated Vitrocsa’s products into projects). To learn more, go to Vitrocsa USA.

Photos of Tobias Partners’ Whale Beach House in Australia by Justin Alexander via Coddington Constructions.

Above: Australian firm Tobias Partners used Vitrocsa’s precision glass system in their Whale Beach house overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Above: A series of ultra thin sliding doors lead to the outdoor deck area.

Above: When retracted, the doors reveal an unobstructed view of the Pacific.

Above: Teak decking leads to a pool.

Above: A side view of the Vitrocsa window system.

Above: In the bedroom, an almost seamless view of the sea is on offer.

Above: A serene, spa-like bath.

Above: A detail of the Vitrocsa sliding door system; photo via Vitrocsa.

Above: A view of the cantilevered pool.

Above: The doors open wide to the pool area.