Glass is popular material in architecture. Over the last few decades, this conduction material is enjoying a lot of love from both architects and regular folks. We are not talking only about large windows and transparent surfaces. Glass is now being used to make a living space more open and airy. In addition, many people include glass elements in their gardens making them look more futuristic and unique. The glass is seen even in bathrooms and bedrooms which are typically the most private spaces in a house. This material is becoming more and more a major element in house and buildings construction.
Have a look at this rare and unique photo of the winter garden of Dolmabahçe Palace in Istanbul, which was built in the 18th century.
However, the architectural trend – glass houses – appeared in the beginning of the nineteen century, towards the end of the 1920s. One of the first big glass projects was designed by Ludwig Miles van der Rohe. The name of Rohe’s project was Barcelona Pavillion. However, it included far less glass compared to the modern deigns we see today. Philip Johnson is another famous architect who is a fan of glass constructions. His most famous creation is the Glass House located in Connecticut, the U.S.
What is characteristic about glass houses is that they are situated in picturesque areas where the landscape has preserved it natural and wild appearance. These houses can mostly be found on the edge of the forest, near the beach or even high on some large rocks. Simply said, they are put in places where no one expects to see them. The modernistic design of glass houses combined with the rough beauty of the natural terrain and landscape make them seem like a window to another world. These architectural designs are not made for the city or its suburbs. They are created to unite the nature with modern lifestyle and design and vice versa.
There are two main types of glass houses and buildings – all-glass and mixed. All-glass houses are made almost entirely of glass. That makes them transparent from every side. However, houses with such exterior are rather rare.
The more popular type is that one that mixes glass with many other construction materials like stainless steel, and white concrete. These homes are more stable and they offer more privacy and comfort than the all-glass ones. The interior of these houses is usually minimalistic, clean and simple. That is because glass exteriors have a minimalistic and contemporary look. In addition, the glass gives a great insight in the house making the interior part of the outside design of the building.
Pros & Cons
Glass houses are very suitable for warm and sunny regions where there is no dramatic temperature drops. The best thingsabout them is that they will allow you to enjoy the landscape and all the natural surroundings. For that reason, they often have an energizing and relaxing effect on the people who live in them.
But these architectural constructions have also many downsides. Although they are perfect for sunny places, they should be located in areas with moderate temperatures. That is because the glass can turn these buildings into hothouses when the temperatures go too high. Also, glass houses do not have the most stable construction that you can imagine and are hard to maintain. However, the biggest disadvantage about them is the privacy issue. There is practically nowhere to hide in these homes. But for some that is not a problem at all. Therefore, it depends on your personality, taste and lifestyle.
Glass houses are a unique way to enjoy the advancements of modern architecture among all the beauties of nature. They give a great sense of freedom, but often at the price of your privacy.