We are thrilled to announce that Achilles Design and Studio Dott. are merging to become Dott Achilles


All-in-one sun protection system


  • Two base products, each with distinctly different options,providing numerous combinations and  possibilities. 
  • Complete product family with a minimalistic look, easy to assemble, feasible to manufacture.
  • Expandable with different options such as various support structures, LED lighting, additional screens (AIR)…


One system, one family

The construction business becomes more complex every day and architectural designs often create challenging window applications. For sun protection systems, being able to respond to every building situation is the key. The challenge here was to create a custom solution for every need… with one system. That’s what Harol clients really want.

Achilles took care of the product design, prototyping, engineering and validation of the entire product portfolio of the VZ family. By creating two base products – each with distinctly different options – the number of combinations and various application possibilities became almost endless. A clear focus on modularity was crucial. But also the possibility to expand the basic set-up with different options was an important part of the development.

Easy to install

Observations and interviews with trained installers helped us to define the most difficult, error-sensitive or time-consuming operations during the installation process. With that knowledge in mind, we designed a new product with a very straightforward installation process. All important technical components are easily accessible from the top of the product. This offers many advantages during installation and after-sales service. The prototypes that we produced in-house helped us to visualize and verify this new workflow. This led to getting the crucial feedback from technicians, installers, marketeers, etc. that made the design a success.

Virtual reality in the design process

Our partner Aeroplane helped us experience the product in true size, in a representative environment. Thanks to VR, designers and product managers could easily switch between configurations, materials and colors in seconds. This would be impossible in real life, or with illustrations on paper. At the same time, VR offered unique opportunities to visualize the mechanics and interactions between the parts. This can become a very useful training tool for installers to quickly gather insights in the construction and possibilities of the system.

Thinking of the big picture, while designing the details.

Designing a system is much more complicated than a single product. It requires a specific approach. The most difficult part is that every decision you make in the design on component level, can have an influence on the entire system. That’s why it’s crucial to keep the global picture with all its possibilities in mind, while you are working on the details. Good visualizations, 3D-CAD models and rapid prototypes can help to illustrate how all the different elements interact with each other. With a limited but intelligently balanced package of components, it’s possible to build a complete range of products with a wide variety of dimensions and application situations.

A dream for architects. Rewarded by a jury of experts.

Apart from its versatility, the product stands out with a very clean, pure, compact and timeless design. Its clean lines and hidden screws, make the product blend easily in every building style from classic to modern. These functional and aesthetical qualities were quickly noticed by the experts in the field. In 2016 Z&R magazine rewarded the VZ-family as product of the year. 2 years later, it was one of the three nominees for the “Innovation Price” at R+T 2018, world’s leading trade fair for roller shutters, doors/gates and sun protection systems.

When the design is finished, the real work begins.

As you cannot verify everything in a 3D CAD model, a lot of effort went to real life verification. Multiple iterations of rapid prototypes, milled parts and first production batches were assembled to test, optimize and verify the design

The results is a complete product family with a pure and minimalistic look, is straightforward to produce and easy to assemble. The basic system is also easy expandable with different options such as different support structures, LED lighting, additional screens (AIR)… but most important: it works great! even after 10.000 times of opening and closing. The VZ-range is like a Swiss army knife: it offers a solution for every need.

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