Date: 23 October 2007
Designed by architect Jean-Luc Chassais, AGC’s stand is both aesthetically pleasing and true to the group’s philosophy.
However, this 350-m2 space is more than a showcase for the group: it is a work of concentrated passion and imagination, uniting words, substances, symbols and space. Clear and easy to follow, the stand’s design reflects AGC’s recent change of name and conveys its underlying values of cultural diversity, a commitment to innovation and a passion for architecture.
Jean-Luc Chassais’s design for the AGC Flat Glass Europe stand reflects his own vision of architecture, with its emphasis on interaction with the urban space. And who better than the architect’s glassmaker to illustrate that concept – a concept explored through the medium of light and transparency, overlapping materials and psycho-sensory experience?
The initial focus of Chassais’s work was the group’s change of name.
Glaverbel, the European branch of AGC (Asahi Glass Company), has now become AGC Flat Glass Europe. This allows AGC to operate under a single brand identity, give a more international scope to its product range and better serve its customers.
A leitmotif throughout the design is the tree, representing the growth of the group which has steadily expanded its industrial roots from Spain to Russia, with its 18 float glass plants and hundred or so manufacturing units. Inspired by the force of innovation, its product range has expanded to give the group a global sales presence.
The colours used (blue, white, green, metallic grey, etc.) also symbolise this new departure on an established route, while hinting at the group’s core business, its applications (construction) and its contribution to sustainable development, the theme of this 26th edition of Batimat.
Glass and AGC Flat Glass Europe : two traditions, inextricably linked
Jean-Luc Chassais has also taken pains to highlight the multiple aspects of glass as a material, focusing in particular on the entrance area and the boundaries of the AGC space. “An immaterial skin, glass undresses and protects. It opens up façades to the environment, to light, to life”… These lines greet visitors, inviting them to set off on a journey imbued (again, not sure of this word use here) with poetry and spirituality. The centrepiece of this journey is the role of glass in society, mirroring the development of architectural design. And what a revolution it has been: alongside the development of glass, the concept of shelter - once emblematic of closure, protection and compartmentalisation - is now opening outwards to become a symbol of freedom and communication between spaces.
AGC: Asahi Glass Company, the Architect’s Glassmaker
Glaverbel’s new identity as AGC Flat Glass Europe, the glass specialist for façade and interior architecture, is a significant one, highlighting the group’s contribution to this revolution. Visitors to the stand will learn about the lengthy process that has seen a familiar workaday (not sure about this word) substance transformed into a fully-fledged architectural material. On the other hand, they will also discover a whole new world of technological and architectural expertise and a commitment to innovation and performance.
Direct, interactive contact with AGC’s glass solutions
Visitors are invited to the forum, a space of dialogue, interaction and discussion, topped by a light, flowing glass roof known as the ‘wave of innovation’. This area stresses the ‘emotional’ aspect of glass, its ability to transform into a virtually organic material, closely associated with water. This is a profoundly poetic experience, one that also evokes the world of navigation and adventure: reflecting the voyage towards innovation that awaits visitors as they are initiated into the advanced glass technologies developed by AGC Flat Glass Europe.
The next stage on the visitor’s journey is the Innovation Box, which consists of three spaces: the Insight Lab, the Glass Bar and the VIP space. The Insight Lab is a place of experimentation, allowing visitors to handle and test AGC’s glass solutions. Based on direct contact with the product, this highly intuitive approach brings all the senses to play. The centrally located Glass Bar provides a more convivial atmosphere, where visitors can continue their discussions over a drink. The VIP Room, meanwhile, offers its guests a quiet and private setting for relaxation and serious discussion. A pleasant way to continue the journey - one of the hallmarks of Jean-Luc Chassais, who sees it as a way of preserving a passion for his profession…
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