Miami South Beach condo celebrates the enigma of glass

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“It’s a building that tends to disappear,” said architect Rene Gonzalez, leaning over the seventh-floor balcony of 120 Ocean Drive, an 18-story residential tower that recently came to completion in South Beach.

This is not just another building wrapped in glass, but rather a nuanced celebration and reappraisal of a material and its inherent virtues of transparency, reflectivity and enigma.Indeed, the official name of the building is “GLASS.” It evokes the Glasarchitektur of Bruno Taut and the Crystal Chain of German architects in the early 20th century, in which the magical qualities of the material were treated with a cult-like obsession.

Taut and his circle envisioned an all-glass architecture that dematerialized itself through a kind of alchemical process. Buildings would become aerial hovering elements that, in turn, could liberate humanity from earth-bound gravity and all the tragic weight of the past. “Caryatids can be seen summoning hope,” wrote Herman Finsterlin, poet-mystic of the Crystal Chain. “Clouds carry away their burdens.”

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600450 Miami South Beach condo celebrates the enigma of glass
Date: 8 January 2016

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