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Glass Bricks in Argentine Houses: Achieving Natural Light and Privacy with Translucent Blocks

Glass Bricks in Argentine Houses: Achieving Natural Light and Privacy with Translucent Blocks

House Luisina / Reimers Risso Arquitectura. Image © Fernando SchapochnikHouse with Bricks / Martín Aloras. Image © Walter SalcedoAYYA House / Estudio Galera. Image © Diego MedinaHouse 47 / Reimers Risso Arquitectura. Image © Fernando Schapochnik+ 10

When designing a space, architects across the board tout the importance, and even necessity, of incorporating natural light into interiors. This means taking measures to control the quantity of light being let in and its distribution throughout the space.

In the case of residential spaces, where privacy plays a larger role than in public spaces like offices, restaurants, and stores, opaque materials like screens, tinted glass, and other barriers are the go-tos for providing protection and privacy from the outside; however, the privacy that these methods provide often comes at the cost of the space's natural lighting, forcing designers to seek alternative materials that allow for both light and privacy.

One of these materials are glass blocks or bricks, also known as pavés, that can create translucent glass surfaces that take in natural light while blocking visibility from outside. Glass bricks were patented as industrialized products around 1907, but similar products had been handcrafted and sold even before then.

Early examples of glass bricks in architecture can be seen in Bruno Taut's Glass Pavilion for the Werkbund Exhibition (1914), the Maison de Verre (1928), and Argentina's Chacabuco 78 (1910), an exponent of Catalan Modernism.

In this article, we highlight contemporary Argentine houses and apartments that demonstrate the many ways that glass bricks can be implemented into a project:

Edificio Demaría / Monoblock + Estudio Nómade

  • Year: 2010
  • Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Demaría / Monoblock + Estudio Nómade. Image © Javier Agustín Rojas
Demaría / Monoblock + Estudio Nómade. Image © Javier Agustín Rojas

Niceto Vega 5924 / Jonathan Tyszberowicz + Diego Cherbenco

  • Year: 2013
  • Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Niceto Vega 5924 / Jonathan Tyszberowicz + Diego Cherbenco. Image © Albano Garcia
Niceto Vega 5924 / Jonathan Tyszberowicz + Diego Cherbenco. Image © Albano Garcia

House 47 / Reimers Risso Arquitectura

  • Year: 2016
  • Location: La Plata, Argentina

House 47 / Reimers Risso Arquitectura. Image © Fernando Schapochnik
House 47 / Reimers Risso Arquitectura. Image © Fernando Schapochnik

House with Bricks / Martín Aloras

  • Year: 2016
  • Location: Rosario, Argentina

House with Bricks / Martín Aloras. Image © Walter Salcedo
House with Bricks / Martín Aloras. Image © Walter Salcedo

AYYA House / Estudio Galera

  • Year: 2017
  • Location: Pinamar, Argentina

AYYA House / Estudio Galera. Image © Diego Medina
AYYA House / Estudio Galera. Image © Diego Medina

Virginia House / Reimers Risso Arquitectura

  • Year: 2018
  • Location: Villa Elisa, Argentina

Virginia House / Reimers Risso Arquitectura. Image © Fernando Schapochnik
Virginia House / Reimers Risso Arquitectura. Image © Fernando Schapochnik

RINCON House / Estudio Galera

  • Year: 2018
  • Location: Ostende, Argentina

RINCON House / Estudio Galera. Image © Diego Medina
RINCON House / Estudio Galera. Image © Diego Medina

House Luisina / Reimers Risso Arquitectura

  • Year: 2019
  • Location: Villa Elvira, Argentina

House Luisina / Reimers Risso Arquitectura. Image © Fernando Schapochnik
House Luisina / Reimers Risso Arquitectura. Image © Fernando Schapochnik

House on Divisadero / Estudio Galera

  • Year: 2019
  • Location: Cariló, Argentina

House on Divisadero / Estudio Galera. Image © Diego Medina
House on Divisadero / Estudio Galera. Image © Diego Medina

Check out more news and works of architecture featuring glass blocks or take a look at our top articles about glass here.

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About this author
Cite: Maiztegui, Belén. "Glass Bricks in Argentine Houses: Achieving Natural Light and Privacy with Translucent Blocks" [Ladrillos de vidrio en casas argentinas: Iluminación natural y privacidad con bloques traslúcidos] 22 Mar 2021. ArchDaily. (Trans. Johnson, Maggie) Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/958580/glass-bricks-in-argentine-houses-achieving-natural-light-and-privacy-with-translucent-blocks> ISSN 0719-8884

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