Nowadays, new technologies for the treatment of glass provide new ways to use this material in architecture. Applied indoors, specifically in retail stores, glass in its different textures, colors, finishes and levels of transparency can allow the unobstructed view of certain products, hide more private areas without blocking the passage of light, and attract the attention of customers as focal points, among many other uses.
Review below a selection of applications in commercial projects.
Texture: Privacy, Soft Lighting and Camouflaged Products
Commercial stores always present some mystery. In its showcases, carefully chosen products are exposed but the rest is insinuated to be discovered by the client. Textured glass can generate these effects, and it's even possible to mix different textures in a single project to generate something even more beautiful and complex.
Using curved double-glazed channel glass, the Adidas Factory Outlet project, designed by Wulf & Partner, is almost entirely wrapped in textured glass covered with a thermal coating called Azur, improving its performance alongside a bluish tint. Through it, the light diffuses steadily throughout the interior, hiding the direct views and working as a soft backdrop for the products presented in front of them.
In interiors, the wines of the Knickerbocker Hotel Bar, designed by Gabellini Sheppard Associates, appear mysterious behind a translucent, textured and 'watery' screen, which varies its color and brightness depending on the elements located behind it.
Brightness: Highlight and Attract Attention
By incorporating glass with backlighting systems, commercial spaces can creatively draw the attention of potential customers, and they have the potential to contribute to the urban environment.
In the project Pier 17 South Street Seaport (2017), designed by SHoP Architects & R. A. Heintges and Associates, three-dimensional channel glass was used to reach continuous spans up to 20 feet, resisting the strong winds of the Hudson and East River. The 'ribbon' protects the upper levels and becomes a light box that changes color, turning the building into a beacon against the city of New York.
In the case of the Blu Dot Showroom by Standard Architecture, an existing building, 70 years old, has been remodeled, incorporating a diffused glazed screen that attracts views and blocks humidity. Its superior bright 'volume' helps delicately illuminate nearby public spaces.
Color: Spotlight Objects and Elements Through a Concept and Identity
Glass can be part of the identity of a space, incorporating mirrored, etched, fritted, back-painted, fixed or changing colors through dichroic systems. The color, added to the lighting, can highlight even more of the presence of a brand and attract the gaze of passersby.
Varying its tone in its extension, the saturated pink colored glass used in this store located in the Row Hotel, NYC, designed by Gabellini Sheppard Associates, allows its visitors to discover little by little what is behind, passing gradually from clear to fully obscuring as they walk past.
In the Knickerbocker Hotel, mentioned above, the color is expressed through a privacy wall composed of a mineral material of mica, cut in individual bricks, which gives a rustic appearance to an exhibition area of art objects, ranging from gold to brown tones.