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Glamorous Glass Bricks Are Booming – Again

Optical Glass House / Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP. Image © Koji Fuji / Nacasa & Partners, Inc.Ports 1961 Shanghai Façade / UUfie. Image © Shengliang SuNave Industrial RX / Emilio Alvarez Abouchard Arquitectura. Image © Camila CossioNave Industrial RX / Emilio Alvarez Abouchard Arquitectura. Image © Camila Cossio+ 36

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 However, following the industry’s brief but widespread use of glass bricks, many now associate the material with outdated 80’s architectural styles, an aesthetic that few seem interested in reviving.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.

AD Classics: Casa del Fascio / Giuseppe Terragni

© Guillermo Hevia García
© Guillermo Hevia García

Casa del Fascio which sits in front of Como Cathedral is the work of the Italian Fascist architect Giuseppe Terragni. Built as the headquarters of the local Fascist Party, it was renamed Casa del Popolo after the war and has since served a number of civic agencies, including a Caribinieri station and a tax office.

© Guillermo Hevia García© Guillermo Hevia García© Guillermo Hevia García© Guillermo Hevia García+ 27