The interior design of a coffee shop can make-or-break an establishment. With an inviting design, you can transform drinking a simple cup of coffee into a wonderful experience. However, when you only have a few square meters and various machines and properties to distribute, finding an efficient configuration is not easy.
Communal living is nothing new. Throughout history, housing has long been tied to both shared needs and a concentration of resources. Today, between population growth and an increase in urban density and real estate prices, architects and urban planners have been pursuing alternatives for shared living. These new models explore a range of spatial and formal configurations with a shared vision for the future.
In all cities around the world, there are some forms of residual space, forgotten pieces of the urban fabric, remnants of overlapping layers of past development. This land whose conditions make it unsuitable for most types of conventional construction might be a fertile ground for architectural invention. Assigning a new value to vacant corner lots, dead-end alleys and strangely shaped plots opens up a new field of opportunities for inward urban development, expanding available living space and increasing amenities in densely populated cities. The following explores the potential for experiment and urban activation held by urban leftover space.
In 1977, a New York Times article by Carter B. Horsley proclaimed that “Glamorous Glass Bricks Are Booming:” once a “less than first-class” material, it was beginning to gain acceptance among architects in residential and restaurant projects for its translucence, privacy, visual interest, and sense of order. However, following the industry’s brief but widespread use of glass bricks, many now associate the material with outdated 80’s architectural styles, an aesthetic that few seem interested in reviving. Yet pioneering contemporary architects have begun using this unique material in new and distinctly modern ways, whether for sleek and minimalist bathrooms, industrial bars and restaurants, vintage residential windows, or even experimental urban facades. As Horsley stated, it appears that glamorous glass bricks are booming – again.