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The 5 Architectural Marvels That Accentuate Glass

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Glass is unarguably a fascinating building material that has impressed architects, interior designers, and contractors for years. It does not even come as a surprise that glass is widely used in homes, offices, and many public buildings.

From dichroic art glass to make jewelry, laminated glass for home/office interiors to numerous other industrial applications, glass is much more valuable than imagined. It has various properties that make it indispensable to uplift an otherwise normal building.

In this blog, we list our five such magnificent buildings that have ingeniously utilized glass to leave an unforgettable impression:

1.    NATIONAL STADIUM, KAOHSIUNG, TAIWAN

Designed by Japanese architect Toyo Ito

Primarily designed for the 2009 World Games in Taiwan, the building became an attraction for its exceptional seating capacity of 55,000. Currently used for national soccer matches, the stadium has a unique dragon-shaped design that leaves people awestruck.

Also, the stadium is built using eco-friendly material and powered by solar energy. It is touted as the largest photovoltaic system in Taiwan, capable of supplying 1.14GWh of electricity annually.

Moreover, the stadium is well-ventilated that maintains a comfortable temperature for people. The roof of the stadium is orientated to keep spectators shielded from the direct sun.  The collected rainwater is further used in the stadium.

No wonder, it has set the bar high for conserving natural resources in the world.

2. THE NATIONAL CENTRE FOR PERFORMING ARTS, CHINA

Designed by French Architect Paul Andreu

The National Centre for Performing Arts is a sight to behold. This dome-shaped building anointed it with the title of ‘The Giant Egg’.

The building is nestled right in the center of an artificial lake that keeps it away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is primarily built using 18,000 titanium plates and over 1,000 sheets of ultra-white glass.

The building houses an opera house, a concert hall, a theatre, and a smaller multi-function theatre. All the visitors enter through an underwater hallway. In the day, the natural light brightens the interiors, but the building illuminates in the night leaving behind a surreal feel.

3. Basque Health Department Headquarters, Bilbao

Designed by Coll-Barreu Arquitectos

The magnificence of this architectural masterpiece is enough to enthrall people for years.  It may give the first impression of an art museum or a high-tech studio, but it’s far from the truth.

The 13-story building is the head office of the Basque Health Department. The iconic structure has ingeniously utilized the SunGuard High-Performance Neutral 41/33 glass that provides a wide range of reflections during different times of the day.

The orientation is not regular, but the double facade complies with the zoning rules while notching up the overall appearance and acoustics of the building. The structure reinforces the use of glass in creating modern architecture without diluting the essence of history.

4.    Louvre Pyramid, Paris

Designed by Chinese architect I. M. Pei

This famous glass building is easily one of the most visited places in the city. The functional purpose being the entrance to the iconic Louvre Pyramid but it manages to steal the heart of thousand of visitors.

The building may have got instant appreciation, but many architects denounce it as a joke in front of the museum. However, that does not change the quantum of precision work that has gone into constructing every detail of the structure.

Reports confirm it took years of exhaustive research before crafting the “ 21.5-millimeter extra-clear laminated glass” which demonstrates exceptional qualities and adds value to the building.

5.    THE DANCING HOUSE, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

Designed by Croatian-Czech architect Vlado Milunić

The Dancing House has a history of its own with this site connected with the U.S. bombing of Prague in 1945.  Its unique structure ( known as deconstructivist architecture) stands out among the neighboring structures in Art Nouveau style.

Interestingly, the architecture was inspired by the dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The structure has two portions including a glass tower supported by curved poles to give it an inclination resembling a dancing move.

The building has its own set of controversies like many others have but got ardent support from the then Czech president, Václav Havel, who envisioned it to be a center of the city’s cultural activities.

Do let us know which glass buildings impressed you in the comments section below.

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