The Development of OKALUX

The Beginnings

1963: The textile company Heinrich Otto KG is on the look out for a new business area outside of its own branch. A department in the subsidiary Fils-Textil experiments with hollow fibers of polyester granulate (capillaries).

1964: The first product is created: OKALUX.  Hollow fibers are compressed to slabs and inserted in the cavity of insulating glass panes. The light diffusing and heat insulating properties are very convincing.

1965: The first capillary products are presented to the public at the Environmental Fair in Dusseldorf. The response exceeds all expectations.

OKALUX is founded as an independent company. The name is derived from the first letters of the department name and the Latin word for light – Otto Kapillar Lux. Production is in a garage in Kreuzwertheim. OKALUX has only five employees.

1971: OKALUX builds its own production hall in Marktheidenfeld. The company now has about 30 employees and its first commercial agents.

Early 1970s: OKALUX supplies building projects for Europe’s largest packaging manufacturer Schmalbach-Lubeca as well as for the Olympic Games in Munich – two important contracts that pave the way to the company’s success.

Establishment on the Market

1974: First foreign representatives are set up in Austria and Switzerland.

1976: OKALUX makes its product debut at the world’s leading trade fair BAU in Munich.

Starting 1976: OKALUX‘ continuous growth is also reflected in the steady expansion of its headquarters. New production or warehouse facilities are built almost every five years. A milestone is the construction of a modern administration building in 1994.

1976 – 1980: The sphere of activity grows – foreign representatives in France and Great Britain join in.

1980: OKALUX now employs 60 people.

Beginning of the 1980s: International contracts become part of the project portfolio early: starting 1980 renovation of Westminster Palace in London, 1984 extension of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Mid-1980s: Energetically optimized building shells come into public focus. The product of the moment is OKASOLAR – an insulating glass with an integrated light directing system.

Starting 1988: OKALUX launches a widely praised product Innovation: Transparent Heat Insulation façades, as shown in the Youth Education Center Windberg in the Bavarian Forest.

End of the 1980s: An important milestone: Mercedes in Rastatt with the largest contract volume in the history of the company to date – 30,000 square meters of OKALUX.

1991: In the meantime, OKALUX is involved in building projects around the globe. The leap to Asia is achieved with the Temasek Polytechnic School in Singapur by James Stirling, Michael Wilford and Associates.

1995: OKALUX establishes foreign representation in the USA.

Laying the groundwork for the future

The millenium years:
International business is reinforced by a number of new representatives outside of the German-speaking area.

2000: A highlight: The complex overhead construction of the Great Court in the British Museum London by Foster + Partners.

2002: OKAWOOD timber grids were created in collaboration with the architectural office of Mahler Günster Fuchs. This is a glass element with filigree timber grid insert.

2004: OKATECH expanded metal is created in collaboration with the architect Rem Koolhaas. The glazing with expanded metal emphasizes the technical appearance of the Seattle Central Library.

2005: With its OKACOLOR, OKALUX is the first company ever to use digital print on glass.

2006: OKALUX has about 100 employees worldwide.

2008: OKAGEL complements the product portfolio. An extreme example of application for the insulating glass filled with aerogel is the British Research Station Halley VI in Antarctica.

2009: The company invests in a fully automatic, highly-modern production line. This complements the manual manufacturing operation.

Increased Internationalism and Innovation 

2010: OKALUX has selected products in Syracuse, New York produced for the North American market.

Successful realization of the first project in the Middle East: The Souk – Central Market in Abu Dhabi with architect Sir Norman Foster.

OKALUX also becomes a member of the German Association for Sustainable Building.

2011: Capillary inserts from OKALUX are a classic to date. Here they effectively set the scene for the building structure of Cité de L’Océan et du Surf.

2012: Powerful in Great Britain – John Godwin dedicates himself exclusively to OKALUX in his VENA Ltd. Office.

2013: OKALUX registers its first patent: OKASOLAR F for modern triple insulating glazing.

2014: The first subsidiary in North America, OKALUX North America LLC, is founded in New York.

OKALUX presents a future-oriented multifunctional module which integrates several inserts in one glazing element.

2015: The largest project in OKALUX history with over 16,000 sqm OKAWOOD insulating glass: The New York Presbyterian Hospital in the USA.

OKALUX celebrates its 50th anniversary!

2016: J-shaped curved insulating glass with capillary insert is used for the first time in Maggie’s Cancer Centre by Steven Holl – white glass with satin finish, digital printing and a myriad of different edge compounds.

2017: The sun protection grid OKASOLAR 3D is presented at the world’s leading trade fair for architecture.