GLASS, THE GREAT UNEXPECTED. 2: Glass in Architecture

Date: 6 August 2015
Two examples of design and construction excellence on display at Vitrum 2015: London’s Shard of Glass (designed by Renzo Piano) and the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Tbilisi, Georgia (designed by Michele De Lucchi).

Glass in Architecture will be featured in the second section of the GLASS, THE GREAT UNEXPECTED exhibit at Vitrum 2015.The subject is lavish and loaded with fine examples of design creativity and technical ability in the creation of the most adventuresome projects.

Here again, Made in Italy leads the way, either because the idea originated in the mind of a more-or-less well-known Italian architect or because the production of the glass elements that distinguish the project was carried out by an Italian company. This aspect is both delicate and compelling. Often the boldest ideas struggle to find application precisely because the greatest difficulty lies in the production phase. Glass must be processed and transformed with increasingly sophisticated techniques that call for non-stop, impassioned research and efforts to perfect them before they can be utilized. The most amazing and successful works of architecture are precisely those that manage to reconcile two areas of innovation – design and execution. In both cases, the essential ingredients are the ability to imagine new forms and functions and the determination to experiment and refine hitherto unexplored means of production.

Which is why this section was conceived around two concepts: Design Research and Technological Research and Experimentation. All to highlight the complexities involved in the use of glass in architecture. An “enemy of mystery” material par excellence, glass has made it possible to achieve truly spectacular results and today is used extensively by the most well-known architects and designers in the world.

Visitors will be able to view and gain an understanding of the most fascinating projects by Renzo Piano (the Shard of Glass in London), Michele De Lucchi (Ministry of Internal Affairs in Tbilisi), Massimiliano Fuksas (Nardini Research Centre), Mario Bellini (Department of Islamic Art in the Louvre) and by other internationally-acclaimed architects who audaciously broke out of the ‘known’ to find new forms of expression and living.

Just as on the production side, visitors can also gain insights into the incredibly fascinating and probably less-well-known aspects of countless solutions that -- thanks to glass -- contribute to a high degree of living comfort, bold designs and structures that until a few years ago were entirely unthinkable.

To understand how such high levels of performance can be achieved while offering the utmost in safety, proceed to the area outfitted -- in partnership with the Milan Polytechnic University -- for a demonstration of stress tests on glass of the same kind used in the most famous buildings.

The most recent studies and experiments in chemistry applied to glass are reflected in research carried out on photovoltaic glass, chromogenic glass, OLED glass and solar mirrors.

Here we are already in the realm of the future, but a future that is much closer than one would think.

600450 GLASS, THE GREAT UNEXPECTED. 2: Glass in Architecture

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