In memory of Vitrocsa inventor Eric Joray

You need to be bold.

The inventor of the modern minimalist window, Eric Joray grew up close to the mountains of Neuchâtel, Switzerland. He trained as a mechanical engineer and worked as a watchmaker, manufacturing movements and gold cases.

Eric's path towards revolution began when he moved into construction and continued when he began growing orchids, building more than 800 glass greenhouses. The light-hungry orchids challenged his entrepreneurial spirit and brought him to a flash of inspiration when he maximised the light by minimising all components of the bulky frames.

Minimal windows had already been developed for the Case Study Houses, but the capability of glass at the time was limited. Eric inverted the construction principle by enabling the glass to support itself within his system of near-invisible aluminium profiles. All technical revolutions need their pioneers and Eric was that pioneer. In 1992, the modern minimalist window was created.

The Villa Lutz à Coppet designed by Andréa Bassi in 2006
Casa del Atrio 2009, Fran Silvestre Arquitectos features Vitrocsa's signature system

Eric assembled a passionate, specialist team, fostering a climate of collaboration. Projects with Andréa Bassi and Norman Foster helped push Eric’s innovation further.

Over the next 30 years, Vitrocsa’s revolutionary designs appeared in architectural projects around the world and Eric moved the Swiss headquarters to a former watchmaking factory in Saint-Aubin-Sauges.

A former watch-making factory serves as Vitrocsa Switzerland‘s headquarters

The addiction to invention is passed on.

The journey had come full circle and Eric gradually passed Vitrocsa on to a loyal team of six staff members who had made a huge contribution to the development and success of the company. “It’s a family,” Eric said.

It is this group – and Vitrocsa’s teams around the world – who will continue to follow in Eric's footsteps, embracing his spirit of invention and pursuit of innovation.

Eric Joray, seated left, and Dolly Joray, seated right, visit Michael Canturi, top left, and Chris Dimitriadis in Australia in 2012

  • Fernando Alda – Photography Casa del Atrio
  • Yves André – Photography Villa Lutz à Coppet