Crystal Achievement Awards 2015: The Crystal Standard

Emily Kay Thompson
September 19, 2015
FEATURE ARTICLE | Design & Performance

Most Innovative Window

VistaLuxe Collection Direct Set Corner Window by Kolbe Windows & Doors

The VistaLuxe Collection first made headlines in last year’s Crystal Achievement Awards, when judges selected the series for recognition for Most Innovative Window in 2014. While the Collection was introduced as a complete product offering, it continues to expand to meet market demands. This year, Kolbe Windows & Doors launched the Direct Set Corner Window as part of the series, which once again garnered the attention of our judges.

“This is the most competitive category for the Crystal Achievement Awards,” one of them noted. However, the judge went on to say, Kolbe seems to be “very aggressive in their innovativeness.”

Increase in Upscale

70% of dealers and manufacturers expect sales for higher-end products—including trendy windows with a high perceived value in large expanses of glass—to increase over the year.

*Source: Window & Door’s annual Industry Pulse Survey, 2015

Direct set corner windows were added to the VistaLuxe product line to address the ever-popular design trend of letting in more light, expanding views, and opening up corners to the outdoors, according to the company.

Innovative Elements

For consistency with other VistaLuxe products, the frame corners are mitered, the interior stops and glazing beads have a square profile, and the exterior profiles are consistent and precisely aligned both horizontally and vertically. Accessory grooves are integral to the extruded frames so units can be mulled together easily to create unique configurations.

In addition to standard factory-constructed corner units, Kolbe’s product development team introduced an innovative solution designed to make it easier to transport and install large corner units. Kolbe will build and factory glaze a corner unit up to 84 inches in combined left and right width, but for bigger openings, a unique alternative is offered—a kit for construction and installation in the field. For these larger corner windows, the units are completely constructed in the factory, less glazing, and then disassembled and packaged for easier transport.

Once on site, the kit is assembled with unique alignment keys and a specialized connector joint. Supplied instructions detail the sealing points. If the window was ordered with a post and insulated glass, the individually packaged glass is installed with pre-fit glazing stops supplied with the kit. Butt-glazed, single pane glass can also be installed in the field.

“Corner glass availability for residential is an old concept, revisited,” another of our judges comments. “[There is] now a modern, distinguished appearance that's sure to get attention from the interior and exterior. Quality and efficiency are key.”

Collaboratively developed with architects, the VistaLuxe Collection’s contemporary designs utilize multiple units to create large expanses of glass. Minimal frames and sash optimize daylight openings and maximize viewing areas, while maintaining energy efficiency, the company reports.

Corner direct set windows offer a great deal of customization in terms of profiles, finishes, angles and sizes, the company reports. They are available in all three of the VistaLuxe Collection exterior profiles (flush, accent and accent plus).

Direct set corner units are available factory-glazed with a post, or open for field-glazing with or without a post. Double- and triple-pane insulating glass units are available. Plus, the frame design allows for a wide range of glass thicknesses. A variety of angles are also available: 90 or 135 degrees for factory-assembled units with corner posts, and 90 to 170 degrees (in whole-degree increments) for units without corner posts.

Back to List of Winners

Thompson is editor of Window & Door,, and WDweekly. Write her at