Glass, the Material of the Century

The Obsession with Glass

Ignacio Paricio 

Glass was the material of the 20th century and will probably also be that of the 21st. The success of glass is said to lie in its transparency and consequent immateriality, but I would say it is gloss, the shine, that captivates us.

A glass building is almost never transparent. It is only transparent when lit more inside than out: that moment when all you see are boring luminaires in the false ceiling and accumulated junk by windows. Modern photographers are changing this negative perception; look at the triumph of nocturnal images where buildings become spectacular luminous objects. One begins to think that some buildings are intended for those effects. A case in point may be Herzog & de Meuron’s Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, which is included in this dossier...

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