Form and Function

Jansen steel systems are an integral component of buildings. In terms of time, the period in which a building is built is comparatively short compared to the period of time during which it later shapes its surroundings. Our society rightly demands that architecture be sustainable and usually assesses this in terms of its carbon footprint. But there are other criteria for sustainability: for example, good design.

The question of what constitutes «good» design, is also addressed by the comparatively young science of «environmental design». It examines what we feel when we see a building or enter a room. One of its findings is that we perceive a building or a room as «beautiful»when the first impression promotes our sense of well-being, i.e. when it touches us pleasantly in our innermost being. It has also been proven that bright, lightflooded rooms also contribute to this, as does a pleasant room temperature and the feeling of being in a safe place. But it would be too short-sighted if we were to limit our demand for good design to the purely functional aspect.
We attach at least as much importance to the formal aspect: ideally form and function are inseparable. This is the only way to create products that are convincing both in appealing appearance as well as intuitive, pleasant handling. The harmonious interaction of various components and elements can be visualised with the help of digital building models long before the building itself is erected. Jansen promotes this holistic planning approach through digital twins of all profiles, hinges and fittings. The good design of our products is not least due to the fact that the necessary documentation is comprehensively prepared and digitally available for all parties involved.
What is design and how do you recognise good design? SCALE has asked experts the following question:
In terms of architecture, façades and windows: What does good design mean for you?
Good design...always goes beyond the mere fulfilment of the function. The look and feel of the material should be appropriate to the task and as sustainable as possible. If a detail is particularly eye-catching and triggers a positive reaction in the user or observer, everything has been done right.
Katja Reich
Editor-in-chief of DBZ,
Bauverlag BV GmbH, Gütersloh (D)
For some time now materials and materiality in architecture have been experiencing a significant paradigm shift. Innovative bring with them new aesthetics and often better material performance. One of the hallmarks of good and progressive design is that it explores and expands the possiblities that these developments offer us for more sustainable building.
Prof. Dr. Thomas Schröpfer
Professor of Architecture and Sustainable Design,
Director of Advanced Architecture Laboratory,
Singapore University of Technology and Design (SGP)
Portrait Morris Breunig
Good design is particularly evident in its unobtrusive presence. If the eye always seeks a connection with the building and a subtle symbiosis between the shell and the inner core is created, the special nature of the structural product becomes appartent. If we fathom the aesthetics of a building, all components such as façades and window elements, their design in terms of materiality and colouring, and the positioning are therefore involved in this process.
Morris Breunig
Editor-in-Chief, Architecture and Engineering,
BL Verlag AG Zurich (CH)
Façades, windows and glazhing of all kinds are an integral part of the building envelope. Design is reflected in them as a symbiosis of maximum function and optimum aesthetics, in order to combine maximum functionality and practicability, optimised manufacturing processes and compliance with strict standards and legal requirements.
Fabio Rea
Managing Director
of Swiss Headquarters Windows and Fa ades (SZFF/CSFF), Olten (CH)
Portrait Roger Kurath
For me, good design is sustainable, timeless, restrained and relates to the essentials. It is in balance with nature and respects it. Good design is not flashy, the beauty and quality is in the detail. Keep it true, simple and clean and the beauty will last forever.
Roger Kurath
Design 21, Los Angeles (USA)
Good façade design today is complex - sometimes screamingly quiet, sometimes whisperingly loud. Meaning is created through a convincing attitude to independence, which is understood and, ideally, loved by its addressees.
Michael Purzer
Director Business Development
Frener & Reifer GmbH, Brixen (I)
Portrait Michael Stratmann
Windows and façades are the outer finish, the skin of an architecture, so to speak. We understand the skin, the surface, as «the inside carried to the outside»
Michael Stratmann
Managing Director of
Metal Design Stratmann GmbH, Essen (D)
Good design refers to a good understanding and knowledge of the rules of nature and their effects, which is taken into account when designing a space that meets the needs of the users. It is related also with the appropriate use of materials and systems that make up a specific building.
Prof. Dr. Ana-Maria Dabija
University of Architecture and
Urban Planning Ion Mincu, Bucharest (ROU)
Windows are an essential design element. They provide light and thus determine the atmosphere both inside and outside. A window can surprise and seduce by drawing the eye to a certain view. Windows should be carefully matched to the façade in terms of proportion and profile.
Joep van As
Architect at
BiermanHenket, Esch (NL)