Floor-to-ceiling windows and sweeping glass facades have long been in trend. It is little surprise that more and more architects are using glass in their buildings to create astonishing architectural features, such as glass partitions and even glass floors. But why is it that we are all so fascinated by brilliant glass architecture?
You’re probably familiar with the old saying: People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Thankfully, with modern architectural glass, that’s no longer completely true. As technologies have advanced, the glass we use in our buildings has become more and more stable and can even be used to regular building temperatures, making it perfect for the construction of glass wall elements.
Glass brings a host of aesthetic benefits to any construction project. Glass facades offer spectacular views, especially from a residential or office tower’s upper floors. Glass elevators are also becoming increasingly popular for the same reason. There’s nothing quite like taking in a magnificent cityscape as you ascend to the top floor of a soaring high-rise building – in many well-known skyscrapers, the trip to the viewing platform alone is a major tourist attraction.
But glass elements also exert a fascination in everyday living. After all, they can make rooms appear larger and more open. They may create acoustic and spatial barriers, but they also allow uninterrupted views into the distance. At the same time, glass features allow light to flood into rooms from several directions, creating a particularly bright and friendly living atmosphere.
Another reason glass is so popular is because it remains out of the spotlight. Thanks to its transparency, it doesn’t crowd out other eye-catching features or interior design touches. It can also be combined excellently with other materials. Whether natural stone, wood, strikingly patterned tiles or mosaics, in combination with glass, these elements come even more to the fore. At the same time, glass always looks modern, adding an extra visual thrill in its interplay with more rustic elements. This is also one of the reasons why glass is often used in the renovation and redesign of old buildings.
Glass is also a major feature in many modern bathrooms. Wide, walk-in shower cubicles with glass fronts provide more freedom of movement. Even more compact bathrooms can be made to appear much larger: the judicious use of glass shower enclosures creates a less pronounced division between the shower area and the rest of the room.
Many modern architects have embraced a more playful approach to glass, exploiting its unique qualities to lend apartments and buildings a certain je ne sais quoi. After all, glass is not only perfectly suited for walls and windows. The hottest current trends in glass architecture include glass floors and staircases, although glass domes, which allow natural light to bathe rooms from above, are also very popular.
Architecture that uses glass in ever more ingenious and amazing ways will certainly remain popular for years to come. There’s no question that glass will continue to be a major feature of the world’s most fascinating pieces of architecture.
Visualization: Grand Tower Frankfurt