Our November issue focuses on a beloved material. Professionals have enjoyed pushing glass to its limits and beyond, innovating new ways to manipulate it and enhance its capabilities. In the article “The House: All About That Glass”, we take you on a journey through time. We pay homage to those who sat at the forefront of implementing glass facades when constructing homes and marvel at the new uses of glass in today’s era. We highlight regional specificities in our piece “The Middle East: Innovating Glass in Extreme Climates”.
This issue’s designer focus whisks us off to Poland for exclusive interviews with the country’s top designers. Jump to the article “Design: Poland in the Spotlight”.
November is also the hottest month of the year in terms of technology. Portugal’s Web Summit the “largest technology conference in the world”, with over 1,000 speakers and 60,000 attendees. From this special event, we bring to you thoughts on how urbanism can benefit from technology in ” Urbanism: An Innovative & Sustainable Future “. DO NOT miss reading this article featuring exclusive interviews with Jeurgen Resch, founder and director of Wmoove, regeneration architect Thomas Ermacora and Yvonne Wassenaar, CEO of Airware (drones!).
In a typical conversation about Europe’s most design-forward countries, Poland doesn’t exactly leap off the tongue. However, this former member of the Eastern Bloc is quietly hard at work smashing a dated preconception—with far-reaching results.
As the third largest European exporter of furniture, Poland clocked in...
Known to the ancient Egyptians, glass was first used to create small decorative objects. With time, processing became more efficient and economical, leading to its usage for larger objects and structures such as buildings and houses.
The birth of the Maison de Verre in 1932, built by French architect Pierre Chareau and Dutch architect Bernard Bijvoet, opened up a world of possibilities for using glass in construction projects, inspiring architects worldwide to use this versatile material.
The Maison de Verre was one of the first examples of the juxtaposition of traditional building materials like steel with glass. The Modernist Period saw wider use of glass, including the Glass House by American architect Philip Johnson.
Completed in 1949, just before Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe’s Illinois Farnsworth House, it was one of the first of its kind in the United States.
Christa Carr, Glass House communications director, told ArchiExpo e-Magazine the story behind its creation. Listen to the Soundcloud clip below for the exclusive interview.
The Glass House commemorates its 10th anniversary this year as a National Trust for Historic Preservation site. A fundraising event hosted by Norman Foster and Robert A.M. Stern was recently held on its premises, celebrating the timeless beauty of this glass masterpiece.
Super Architectural Glass
External forces can affect the suitability of glass as a building material. But modern treatments are designed to increase its resistance to shock and confer insulating and other characteristics.
AGC Glass from Japan has developed various types of “super architectural glasses” which can be used in different areas of the house. Insulating Glass traps heat within the building, preventing its loss and contributing to the comfort of the occupants. Their Laminated Glass is made of several sheets of glass separated by PVB plastic film. If it breaks, fragments remain attached to the film, protecting people from flying glass.
AGC Glass Europe
One of their stronger products is Toughened Glass, produced by heat treatment and five times stronger than ordinary glass in terms of resistance to physical or thermal shock. Homes may include a combination of these different types of glass, often in steel or wood frames.
Stay up to date with AGC Glass through the online exhibition site ArchiExpo.
Glass Inside and Out
A house can showcase glass everywhere. A prime example is the S-House, designed by Yuusuke Karasawa for famous Japanese philosopher Takashi Shimizu. Construction took 33 months.
Karasawa explained to ArchiExpo e-Magazine that he used “a normal float glass with a thickness of 10 mm.” He added that the size of the glass is nearly the maximum the manufacturer can produce. “I installed a special “mirror curtain” allowing people to see outside from inside but people cannot see inside from outside.”
The mirror curtain is made with polyester, and it reflects sunlight and shines like a glass block or crystal when sunlight comes inside, especially in the morning.
While its facade is made entirely of glass, the sisal hemp and oak flooring “make the space more natural and human,” the architect said.
Karasawa was in Paris recently for the opening of “Japan-ness : Architecture et urbanisme au Japon depuis 1945” at the Pompidou Center Metz. The S-House was featured on the cover of the catalogue. Karasawa’s team is currently working on a daycare project in the Philippines. Windows consist of a series of glass panes set at different angles, mixed with mahogany elements.
S-House / Yuusuke Karasawa Architects
The Invisible and the Rotating
Building a glass house has become easier nowadays with various glass manufacturers and suppliers to choose from. Guardian Glass launched their latest campaign called “The Invisible Glass” which offers a range of creative tools highlighting the benefits of using their invisible glass. Order a free sample of the invisible glass to check it out and consider including 360° rotating and sliding doors with the aid of Portapivot’s invisible pivot hinge kits called “Stealth Pivot” which can be ordered at their new B2B E-commerce store.
Construction glass is a building element that will never go out of fashion. Its remarkable flexibility makes it a reliable construction material that speeds the work and is ideal for embellishing facades. Since the construction boom of the 1990s, the Middle East, and Dubai in particular, have seen building designs...
It’s nearly three decades since Soviet planes last took off from an airbase near the Estonian city of Tartu. Today, a man-made object of a very different nature rises into the air from the long-deserted concrete runway.
Designed by the now-dissolved architecture office of Italian-Israeli Dan Dorell, French-Lebanese Lina Ghotmeh and Japanese Tsuyoshi Tane (collectively known as DGT), the Estonian National Museum opened its doors in October of last year. The gargantuan, 355-meter-long building cost €75 million and took over a decade to materialize.
While the distinctive sloping shape of the museum is intended to represent Estonia’s emerging history, its striking architecture also reflects the building’s ambient conditions.
“Estonia’s extreme climate—with temperatures swinging between 30°C in summer and -20°C in winter—was an important driving force behind innovation in the design,” says Ghotmeh, who now has her own Parisian atelier.
The museum’s 35-meter entrance canopy is designed to bear heavy snow and wind loads, and to ensure a thermal break between the exterior and the interior of the building. The metal structure rests on independent insulated pillars to allow movement with temperature fluctuation.
The entrance canopy. Courtesy of the architects.
The basement of the museum, which contains the archives, is constructed from a special silicate concrete that enhances temperature stability, while the building’s glass exterior, which features a repetitive, silk-screened pattern of white octagonal stars, represents both Estonian culture and the local weather.
“The star is derived from the cornflower, the national flower of Estonia, and takes its inspiration from Estonian folk heritage,” says Ghotmeh. “In winter, the skin of the museum mirrors the snow-covered landscape, helping to soften the impact of the building’s monumentality.”
The facade of the Estonian National Museum by DGTArchitects. Courtesy of the architects.
The land the museum sits on once held the Raadi Manor, which was owned by a family of Baltic German aristocrats. In 1940, part of the grounds was requisitioned to create the Soviet airbase. Deserted since the 90s, the land portrayed nothing of value on the site until the museum.
A third of the way along its length, the building spans a recently modified lake—one of a clutch that once graced the manor’s manicured gardens. This wing-shaped body of water should eventually provide an attractive recreational venue for ice skaters, boaters and swimmers.
“We have changed everything here,” says Tsuyoshi Tane. “Before, there was nothing on this site. But after 10 years, we have realized our ambition of transforming this massive airfield into a place for people.”
Despite its monolithic appearance, the Estonian National Museum treads surprisingly lightly on the landscape. It is already drawing crowds, despite its distance from the capital, Tallinn. With the building seeking to define ethnic identity and celebrate national culture, DGT’s humanist design is proving as appealing as it is groundbreaking.
Estonian National Museum restaurant. Courtesy of the architects.