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by | Jan 2, 2024

What should a window look like?

Giving hierarchy to the three dimensions that structure architectural work, Alberti enhanced beauty and delight (voluptas) as “the noblest and most necessary of all.” But it is worth noting that the fact that venustas generally comes last in the sequence, implies that firmitas and utilitas are to be regarded as essential logical prerequisites of architectural beauty. Likewise, good design is not just what looks good. It needs to perform, adapt, astonish, and fulfil its purpose. In the same way, although minimalism is often seen as a formal achievement or a trend in design, it truly corresponds to a philosophy that values simplicity and the elimination of excess, focusing on essential elements, and therefore relying consistently also in technical aspects.

Thanks to the technological developments that allowed for the use of glass as the main structural component of a window and enabled a constant increase in the dimensions of the sashes, minimalist windows were able to offer unmatched visual transparency and natural illumination. Alongside, a series of refinements in the design of the frame maintained extremely reduced dimensions and smooth operability, despite the increase of glass size and weight.

The Vitruvian trilogy is a construction with three supports that cannot do without any. Building finds its sense if resolved on the level of necessity, utility if providing comfort and beauty if giving pleasure. A useful and beautiful building that would not stand does not hold; beautiful, solid, and useless won’t fit either; what then of a practical, sound, but unpleasant element? While it might hold up from a static point of view, it architecturally doesn’t. Only the active combination of the three becomes relevant: they are independent notions without hierarchy, any construction or building component having to combine all three without neglecting any of them.

Two millennia after Vitruvius, panoramah!® minimalist windows still respond directly to these three timeless categories. Utility and comfort, or the question of what a window should do, is answered through the accomplishment of very large sizes while maintaining smooth operability and a flexible array of opening typologies. Strength and necessity, or the concern of how a window should perform, are matched by the highest results, not only in terms of robustness, but also of thermal, acoustic and air- and watertightness. A series of add-ons complement the solutions, providing additional efficiency. Finally, beauty and delight, or the wonder of what a window should look like, finds in its uncompromised minimalist design an accurate correspondence to all aesthetic concerns and beyond. panoramah!® windows achieves the trilogy through the celebration of minimalism, not as a design trend but rather an ethos that values simplicity and the elimination of redundancy through technical refinement, reducing each element to its minimum, purest expression.