Different uses for glass

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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Today at homify, we are going to talk about one of the most interesting and widely used materials in both architecture and design: glass. Glass is a material we find in our homes, and as part of the framework for large scale commercial design projects. How is it that such a simple product, has such a wide range of uses?

The problem with the English language is that the term 'glass' is interchangeable. The glass we see in windows and the vessel we use to drink from, use the same word. Unlike other Latin derived languages, the distinction between crystal and glass, is not clearly made. Generally speaking, if it is good quality, your kitchen glassware  will state 'crystal' on the base. But, due to the growing demand of cheaply manufactured products, this line has become blurred. 

The most important thing to consider is the chemical make up: the composition of glass, despite the fact its appearance always seems to be much the same, varies greatly. The glass you used to drink from, and the glass that envelopes your building are two vastly different products. So, instead of these two products which we are used to seeing in our daily lives, let's have a look at more examples of how you can use glass!

Transparent interiors

This office has employed a glass wall to separate the different rooms and offices of their employees. This is a good way to differentiate departments and offices without creating enclosed spaces. This means that both staff members and spaces can flow and interconnect with one another—creating the perfect platform for open discussion and ideas. The frosted section allows for a bit of privacy. After all, no one wants to feel like they are inside a giant fish bowl! 

Mixing materials

One advantage of glass is that it can always be combined with other materials: from wood to metal, plastic to steel; the options are many. The advantage of choosing a table with a glass top, whether for dining or for the office, is that it is lighter in appearance than other materials like wood or metal—as it always looks delicate and fine. One disadvantage though is the price, which generally exceeds that of other materials in its manufacturing quality class. 

Cocktail hour

The ancient profession of glass making will hopefully never become a dying trade. Artisans are able to create imaginative objects that combine both art and functionality with a single material. It is truly a feat of magic, watching molten liquid come out of scorching furnace, and transformed into a beautiful object. If you've ever been to Murano, Italy, you would have had the opportunity to witness, first hand, an ancient art in action. With controlled breathing and quick hands, an object of your desire is made in front of your eyes! Pictured here is a cocktail shaker set—reminiscent of the 70s in both design and hue. With its gradient pink colouring, this beautiful piece will be the 'pièce de résistance' of your liquor cabinet. 

Tables

Just because glass or crystal is transparent, doesn't mean it can't have a great visual impact on a space. As you can see, these two side tables have been created with impossible geometries. In homage to true modernism, this piece has combined function to form to create a unique and useful product. Held up by two steel bars at the base, these metal structures both support and enhance the functionality of the product. This model can be found in two sizes, as pictured. Perfect for an accompanying piece to your living room, or even as a bed side table.

Lights, camera…

The easiest way to differentiate between crystal and glass, is through light. The refractive index is much higher in crystal than in glass, so if the object is made from glass, you will see a prism of colours reflected on a nearby surface. Crystal lamps are a object that many homeowners and designers choose to add elegance and luxury to a space. Light and all of its reflections, create a magical and delicate environment—which can be seen in this stunning model. Besides beauty, this design is sustainable, since the material used in its composition was recycled! 

Floating

modern Gym by Leisurequip Limited
Leisurequip Limited

Luxury sauna and steam room installed in Cambridge

Leisurequip Limited

Made also from glass, this ladder staircase is something else! It will certainly make you feel like you are floating as you ascend and descend between the levels. Yes, the distant view of the ground at our feet can cause dizziness for those who are a little scared of heights but, even when faced with this issue, you cannot deny the grace of such a a piece.  

modern Houses by Casas inHAUS

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