Travel to Germany and aside from the plentiful beer gardens and apple strudel, you’ll also notice the unique German windows. Ubiquitous in Germany and throughout Europe, the tilt-and-turn window serves as a fixed window, an inswing casement window, and a hopper window all in one. Tilt-and-turns have been around for decades, yet haven’t been adopted across the Atlantic to the reach U.S. shores.

Kurt Kohlstedt, of the design podcast “99% Invisible,” explores this unique window design and breaks down how this engineering feat works:

“When the handle of a tilt-and-turn is in the downward position, the window is shut is and locked. Rotate the handle 90 degrees so it points sideways, and you can pull the window open horizontally.

Now comes the twist: push the window back into place, rotate the handle another 90 degrees so it points up, and then pull it back down toward you. The window tilts inward, opening from the top rather than the side. It then locks into place after opening a few inches, resting at an angle. Each method of opening also aligns intuitively with the different handle positions: pull sideways when the handle is horizontal, and pull down when it is vertical. Warning: functionality aside, changing between these different configurations can be habit forming."

To read all about the tilt-and-turn window design, click below.

Read more >