Blurred Transparencies in Contemporary Glass Architecture brings to light complex readings of transparent glass through close observations of six pivotal works of architecture. Written from the perspectives of a practitioner, the six essays challenge assumptions about fragility and visual transparency of glass.
A material imbued with idealism and utopic vision, glass has captured architects' imagination, and glass' fragility and difficulties in thermal control continue to present technical challenges. In recent decades, architecture has witnessed an emergence of technological advancements in chemical coating, structural engineering, and fabrication methods that resulted in new kinds of glass transparencies. Buildings examined in the book include a sanatorium with expansive windows delivering light and air to recovering tuberculosis patients, a pavilion with crystal clear glass plenum circulating air for heating and cooling, a glass monument symbolizing the screen of personal devices that shortened the distance between machines and humans, and a glass building symbolizing the the social and material intertwining in the glass ceiling metaphor.
Connecting material glass to broader cultural and social contexts, Blurred Transparencies in Contemporary Glass Architecture enlightens students and practitioners of architecture as well as the general public with interest in design. The author demonstrates how glass is rarely crystal clear but is blurred both materially and metaphysically, revealing complex readings of ideas for which glass continues to stand.