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The Cutting Edge of Glass

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

“Glass is performance art… from its fluidity to the way it scatters light in space. We are making spaces to put people in touch with the magic of glass.”  Thomas Phifer, Architect

Glass is one of the most phenomenal building materials ever created. It is not surprising that it is used in the construction of almost every home, office and public building worldwide. Giving access to natural light, colour combinations and the capacity to mix interiors with exteriors, this unique material can be used to transform a building into a thing of beauty.

Glass is one of the greenest materials. Lighting up a building during the day with natural light saves money and energy resources, while advances in technology now control heat, keeping offices and homes cool in the summer and warm in winter. Its recyclable properties also make it sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Glass has no longer become a practical commodity, but leading Architects and Designers are using glass in their iconic buildings to make them not just practical, but ingenious and aesthetic.

Louvre-Paris

As pictured above: The Louvre in Paris is a breathtaking example of the inventive use of glass in architecture

The large glass pyramid situated in front of the Louvre in Paris is a superb example of the inventive use of glass. It was designed by the architect I M Pei and was completed in 1989. The striking space-like structure is in sharp contrast with the French Renaissance style of the Louvre Museum behind it. The pyramid is stunning in daylight, but at night it is transformed, being lit with colour to create a dazzling sight.

Designed by Vlado Milunić, is the Nationale-Nederlanden building in Prague, nicknamed The Dancing House. The inspiration for the building is said to come from the movement of dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The use of glass is extensive throughout the building, particularly in one of the towers, where shaped glass panels give the impression that the tower is leaning into its more upright neighbour.

King’s Cross historic station has stood as the entryway to London for many visitors to the Capital for years. The station underwent an ambitious renovation that was completed in time for the 2012 Olympics. One of the projects was the restoration and refurbishment of the station’s original dual-arched roof, where all of the Victorian-designed details were preserved alongside a new installation of solar panels, which provide a large portion of the station’s energy demands. The company Romag had a key role in the restoration of the roof; their building-integrated photovoltaic tiles contribute 175,000 kWh of electricity and save over 100 tonnes of CO₂ emissions per annum.

A new innovation in glass is switchable Smart Glass that illuminates environments, creating multi-functional spaces that adapt and respond to the needs of users at the flick of a switch. Award-winning Pilkington is a company at the forefront of glass innovation too, with its new Safety Mirror and cutting-edge glazing to the 5-star Park Hotel Imperia in Italy.

Nendo's Oki Sato has also designed a series of cast glass chairs for Venetian brand WonderGlass, which feature a U-shaped base formed by the effects of gravity on molten glass.

Wonderglass  Cattelan-Phoenix-Light

As pictured above: Nendo's Oki Sato has also designed a series of cast glass chairs for Venetian brand WonderGlass and The Cattelan Italia Phoenix Suspension Light is made from handmade glass and is available at Lime Modern Living

Lime Modern Living has some stunning new cutting-edge glass products for the home, including the Cattelan Italia Phoenix Suspension Light with handmade glass and the Calligaris Puro Console Table with a choice of tempered colourful glass. Not forgetting the Connubia Calligaris Mikado Table with a transparent tempered glass top combined with a statement Beech Wood feature base.

It is not surprising that with all that is happening in the glass industry, 2019 looks to be an interesting year in interior design trends.   

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