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Trent Bell
In Englishman Bay, where his relatives have summered since the 19th century, a musician builds an idyllic hideaway for his family and their three parrots.

"When I was growing up, we went to a little log cabin in Maine," says a musician now based in Colorado. "It sounds romantic, but it really was three boys stuck in a one-room cabin with a loft. Maine can be rainy, foggy, and dreary. We’d go a little stir crazy." Like many childhood summers, his was a mix of boredom and adventure. Part of the romance was his family’s deep roots in the isolated area of Englishman Bay, a two-hour drive east of the bustling seaside community of Bar Harbor. His father had been born in the cabin, and relatives had been summering in the region since the 1880s. And, on sunny days, Maine was fun. He and his brothers played in the woods and clambered over the rocks by the ocean. All the same, he and his brothers were ready to go home at summer’s end.

Englishman Bay Retreat resides on a plot of land next door to the homeowner’s parents’ property; he remembers traversing it as a child to get to the pebbled beach. Clad in hardy local hemlock and raised on galvanized steel piers with board-formed concrete wrapping the ground floor’s mechanical systems, the residence is designed to endure through the ages.

Now he, his wife, and their two daughters still visit Englishman Bay, but their vacation home is decidedly more stylish. In late 2015, they asked Whitten Architects and Nate Holyoke Builders (in Portland and Holden, respectively) for a durable, minimalist home, simultaneously rustic and Scandinavian, that would sit lightly on the land and make use of local materials whenever possible. (They knew Whitten and Holyoke’s work because the team had built a nearby Norwegian-inspired home for the musician’s cousin.) Principal architect Russ Tyson translated the family’s request into a striking, partially transparent house with simple geometries. The U-shaped dwelling comprises three primary forms: a three-story entry tower with a roof deck, a rectangular bedroom wing, and a dramatic, three-season glassed-in porch—organized around a double-sided concrete chimney—that serves as a great room.

MAD Architects
Beijing-based architectural firm MAD Architects has won a competition for Zhejiang’s Yiwu Grand Theater with a proposal that’s stunning, sculptural and site-specific. Inspired by the Chinese junks that once sailed on the city’s Dongyang River, the Yiwu Grand Theater mimics the form of a glass-walled boat floating on the river while its subtle curves echo the Jiangnan-style eaves found in the region’s ancient vernacular architecture. Its facade of layered glass sails will be semitransparent to reduce overall energy consumption through passive solar means.

As the world’s largest wholesale commodities market, Yiwu has built its reputation on commerce, not culture. In a bid to elevate its soft power, the city hosted an international competition to design the Yiwu Grand Theater, a hub of arts and culture to be located on the south bank of the Dongyang River. The building will include a 1,600-seat grand theater, a 1,200-seat medium theater and a 2,000-person-capacity international conference center. The project will also offer new and easily accessible public green space with an amphitheater and large open plaza that extends into the water on its southern edge.

“The ‘Yiwu Grand Theater’ has been designed as a monument for the city that will serve to connect inhabitants to the waterfront from a new perspective,” the architects explained. “In its completion, it will stand as a world-class venue that will attract visitors from around the globe, putting Yiwu on the map as a cultural destination. The transparency and lightness of the glass express the texture of thin, silky fabric, creating a dynamic rhythm that makes them appear as if they are blowing in the wind. They act as a protective canopy around the building, resonating with the river, elegantly floating above the water’s surface, setting a romantic atmosphere.”

In addition to giving the Yiwu Grand Theater a sense of lightness in spite of its size, the semi-transparent glass curtain wall also helps to reduce heating and cooling costs while letting in ample amounts of natural light. In winter, the glass creates a solar greenhouse effect but can be opened up in summer to promote natural ventilation. The Yiwu Grand Theater is expected to begin construction in 2020.

Eight Inc.
Eight Inc, the studio that developed the Apple Store concept, wants to accurately reconstruct Notre-Dame's roof and spire using structural glass.

After the French senate passed a bill stating Notre-Dame Cathedral must be returned to its "last known visual state", Eight Inc has suggested that this could be achieved using a modern material.

The studio believes that structural glass could be used to create formally identical versions of the parts of the Paris building destroyed in the fire on 15 April.

"I believe this definitive example of French gothic architecture requires a deep respect and appreciation of the history and intent of the original design," said Tim Kobe, founder and CEO of Eight Inc.

"Its proportions, scale and detail brings life to the architecture," he added. "It should not be about the ego of a new architectural expression but a solution to honour this historic structure."

Eight Inc is best known for working with Steve Jobs to develop the concept for the first Apple Stores, which opened in 2001.

Like the Apple Stores, this latest proposal centres around the idea of transparency. Structural glass is thicker and tougher than standard glass, so it can be installed without the visual mess of a supporting framework.

Kobe's team believes glass offers the best opportunity to respect the scale and texture of the original design, while also invoking "the memory and temporal nature of the building".

"The spiritual and luminous qualities of the material allows for both the accurate representation of the form of the original design but also implies the impermanence of architecture and the impermanence of life," reads the project description.

Since the fire, there have been numerous ideas proposed for the French gothic cathedral, ranging from the interesting to the outrageous. Architect Vincent Callebaut proposed a roof that generates energy and food, while Studio Fuksas suggested building a new structure using crystal.

Meanwhile designer Sebastian Errazuriz suggested turning the cathedral into a space-rocket launchpad, in a bid to stop architects producing any more designs.

Although the French senate wants the historic structure to be rebuilt exactly as it last was, French president Emmanuel Macron is keen for "an inventive reconstruction". His prime minister, Edouard Philippe, had previously announced that there would be a design competition.
United Nations Photo/Flickr., CC BY-NC-ND
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has declared that skyscrapers made of glass and steel “have no place in our city or our Earth anymore”. He argued that their energy inefficient design contributes to global warming and insisted that his administration would restrict glassy high-rise developments in the city.

Glass has always been an unlikely material for large buildings, because of how difficult it becomes to control temperature and glare indoors. In fact, the use of fully glazed exteriors only became possible with advances in air conditioning technology and access to cheap and abundant energy, which came about in the mid-20th century. And studies suggest that on average, carbon emissions from air conditioned offices are 60 percent higher than those from offices with natural or mechanical ventilation.

As part of my research into sustainable architecture, I have examined the use of glass in buildings throughout history. Above all, one thing is clear: if architects had paid more attention to the difficulties of building with glass, the great environmental damage wrought by modern glass skyscrapers could have been avoided.

Heat and glare
The United Nations Secretariat in New York, constructed between 1947 and 1952, was the earliest example of a fully air conditioned tower with a glass curtain wall – followed shortly afterwards by Lever House on Park Avenue. Air conditioning enabled the classic glass skyscraper to become a model for high rise office developments in cities across the world – even hot places such as Dubai and Sydney.

Yet as far back as the 19th century, horticulturists in Europe intimately understood how difficult it is to keep the temperature stable inside glass structures – the massive hot houses they built to host their collections. They wanted to maintain the hot environment needed to sustain exotic plants, and devised a large repertoire of technical solutions to do so.

Early central heating systems, which made use of steam or hot water, helped to keep the indoor atmosphere hot and humid. Glass was covered with insulation overnight to keep the warmth in, or used only on the south side together with better insulated walls, to take in and hold heat from the midday sun.

The Crystal Palace

When glass structures were transformed into spaces for human habitation, the new challenge was to keep the interior sufficiently cool. Preventing overheating in glass buildings has proven enormously difficult – even in Britain’s temperate climate. The Crystal Palace in Hyde Park – a temporary pavilion built to house the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations in 1851 – was a case in point.

The Crystal Palace was the first large-scale example of a glass structure designed specifically for use by people. It was designed by Joseph Paxton, chief gardener at the Duke of Devonshire’s Chatsworth Estate, drawing on his experience constructing timber-framed glasshouses.

Though recognised as a risky idea at the time, organisers decided to host the exhibition inside a giant glasshouse in the absence of a more practical alternative. Because of its modular construction and prefabricated parts, the Crystal Palace could be put together in under ten months – perfect for the organisers’ tight deadline.

To address concerns about overheating and exposing the exhibits to too much sunlight, Paxton adopted some of the few cooling methods available at the time: shading, natural ventilation and eventually removing some sections of glass altogether. Several hundred large louvres were positioned inside the wall of the building, which had to be adjusted manually by attendants several times a day.

Despite these precautions, overheating became a major issue over the summer of 1851, and was the subject of frequent commentaries in the daily newspapers. An analysis of data recorded inside the Crystal Palace between May and October 1851 shows that the indoor temperature was extremely unstable. The building accentuated – rather than reduced – peak summer temperatures.

These challenges forced the organisers to temporarily remove large sections of glazing. This procedure was repeated several times before parts of the glazing were permanently replaced with canvas curtains, which could be opened and closed depending on how hot the sun was. When the Crystal Palace was re-erected as a popular leisure pa
Bruno Zaitter
In the state of Paraná in the south of Brazil, architect Bruno Zaitter has created a contemporary and low-impact suite for the charming Hotel Fazenda Cainã in the countryside. Dubbed the Refúgio da Cainã, the building features walls of glass to take in sweeping views of the native forest, surrounding mountains and the city of Curitiba in the far distance. Elevated to reduce site impact, the prefab structure includes a repurposed container measuring nearly 40 feet in length.

Spanning an area of 538 square feet, the modern Refúgio da Cainã has been dubbed by Hotel Fazenda Cainã as their Hannah Arendt suite after the renowned American philosopher and political theorist. Included in their Villa do Bosque collection, the contemporary chalet is equipped with full-height windows for taking in views of the large native forest to the south, as well as city and valley views towards the east. The streamlined interiors are dressed with a natural materials palette that complements the outdoors.

“In this natural space marked by a wide green area and the characteristic geology of the site, the Refúgio da Cainã contemplates a simplistic structural concept that reveals the connection of the interior with the exterior by the minimal intervention in the natural environment,” explains the architect, who adds that the hotel is located in the area of a geological fault called the “Escarpa Devoniana.” “It has in its essence, the relation between the artificial structure and the natural universe, where the concept of the project is to harmonize with nature without trying to disguise it, revealing its straight lines as opposed the curved and organic lines of nature.”

To reduce environmental impact, the architect reused a nearly 40-foot-long metal container for the bulk of the building, which includes the bathroom on one end, the bedroom in the middle, along with a dining area and living room on the other end. A “glass box” was added to the container and houses a sitting area enclosed on three sides by floor-to-ceiling glazing. The building is elevated with pillars to preserve the natural terrain and minimize site impact.

foster + partners continue their creative collaboration with lumina as they shed light on a new series of luminaries at euroluce / milan design week 2019. introducing three new pieces, the products pay tribute to the philosophies of the italian brand: honest aesthetics inspired by their function, the process of manufacture, and the tactility of their materials.

designed to be used independently or as part of a constellation, the lumina ‘tia’ is a smooth pendant light. it combines an intricately hand-blown venetian glass shade with an integrated light engine in the center. the shade offers flexibility with three different sizes as well as availability in a variety of colors. the engine in the middle has a specially designed lens that distributes light evenly from the downward-pointing LED.

as an intimate light source for the bedside or table-top, the ‘pin’ is a small, sculptural lamp that is available in a range of metallic finishes. its single anodized aluminum and CNC-machined stem contains a single LED source that is then reflected off the inside of a circular top. this holds a bespoke flexer that distributes the light evenly. powered either by the mains or with a rechargeable battery, the design can be dimmed or brightened by touching its top.

building upon their ‘eva’ lamp, the collaborated has created a smaller version titled ‘eve’. as a mixture of glass and innovative technology, the design is a streamlined model of the original complete with an exterior framed by details of gold finishes on the top and bottom. inside, the top contains a thin light source that then interplays with the glass housing.

‘right from our first collaboration on the flo lamp, working with lumina has been an exceptional experience. they have always shared our enthusiasm for the craft of manufacture and commitment to cutting-edge technology, themes that run through every lamp we have designed with them including the latest series. the new lamps embody an honest aesthetic that is inspired by their function, the process of making and the tactility of materials, yet serving varying functions – from an intimate light source to a pendant for ambient light,‘ concludes mike holland, head of industrial design at foster + partners.

Foster + Partners
Norman Foster has jumped into the international competition to design a replacement spire for Paris’s Notre Dame Cathedral, proposing a glass-and-steel topper to replace the cathedral’s ruined roof.

According to an interview in English publication The Times, Foster presented his vision for a new “light and airy” roof for the fire-ravaged cathedral. The previous attic space dated back to the 12th century and was nicknamed “The Forest,” as it contained a tangle of 1,300 timber frames, each coming from a unique oak tree—the sheer amount of wood likely fed the fire that ravaged it last week.

Foster’s updated vision for the cathedral calls for installing a glass topper, arched to mimic the original wooden roof, ribbed with lightweight steel supports. The new spire would be made of glass and steel and could potentially include an observation deck at its base.

“In every case, the replacement used the most advanced building technology of the age,” Foster told The Guardian. “It never replicated the original. In Chartres, the 12th-century timbers were replaced in the 19th century by a new structure of cast iron and copper. The decision to hold a competition for the rebuilding of Notre Dame is to be applauded because it is an acknowledgment of that tradition of new interventions.”

The modernization scheme drew an immediate reaction online, where social media users compared the revamped cathedral to a Foster-designed Apple store or the glass Reichstag dome in Berlin. Additionally, several people pointed out that the plan to flood the interior with light would be hamstrung by the stone vaulted ceiling below the attic space and would blow out any light coming in from the historic stained-glass windows.

Of course, Foster isn’t the only architect to propose a radical overhaul of the 19th -century spire. Belgian artist Wim Delvoye, known for his neo-Gothic, laser-cut steel sculptures, announced last week that he would be entering the design competition as well.

Since the international competition was announced, plenty of people have gotten creative in envisioning “adaptive reuse” projects that give the historic cathedral a bland, modernist overhaul without regard for its surroundings. Even though these have been done in jest, some of them have come quite close to what Foster has proposed.

North America's tallest glass elevator, designed by Solomon Cordwell Buenz, will climb the exterior of the modernist Aon Center skyscraper in Chicago in 60 seconds offering tourists panoramic views.

Local firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB) has conceived a glass elevator shaft to rise up the northwest corner of the 1,136-feet-high (346-metre-high) Aon Center, leading to a rooftop observatory.

Completely glazed, the elevator will rise up 1,000 feet (305 metres) making it the "tallest elevator of its kind in North America," according to a statement from the firm. The tallest in the world is the 326-metre-high Bailong Elevator, which runs up a cliff in the Wulingyuan area of Zhangjiajie, People's Republic of China.

The shaft along the Aon Center will house a pair of double-deck elevators and will be anchored at every fourth floor. Visitors are expected to scale to the top of the skyscraper in approximately one minute.

The elevator will mark the city's third public observatory, in addition to the Willis Tower Skydeck and The John Hancock Center's 360 Chicago. The latter is similarly thrilling, comprising a moving glass box that tilts visitors over Michigan Avenue.

In SCB's design, the crown of the building is planned as an observation deck with an indoor viewing area offering panoramic views of the city. From here are views of Millennium Park, Lake Michigan and the Loop.

SCB's scheme also includes new building to accompany the skyscraper at 200 East Randolph Street to provide access the elevator and observation area. Located off the street, the low-lying structure will be wrapped in glass and topped with a slanted metal roof.

Inside, it will house ticketing booths, as well as shops.

SCB's ground-level building will continue to allow for Aon Center's lobby to function as-is, exclusively for Aon tenants.

The modern skyscraper – the third tallest building in Chicago – was completed in 1974 by American architect Edward Durell Stone in partnership with Perkins + Will.

Vertical strips stretch to the top and were originally clad in Italian Carrara marble. Stainless steel straps were added to hold the marble in place, and in the 1990s, the entire building was refaced with Mount Airy white granite.

Aon Center was formerly known as Amoco Building, and first served as headquarters for Standard Oil Company of Indiana.

Leonardo Finotti
Architect Sol Camacho has designed a curvy wooden summer pavilion for the lush garden surrounding Brazilian modernist Lina Bo Bardi's jungle house.

Camacho, whose firm RADDAR is based in São Paulo and Mexico City, completed the Summer House among the 7,000-square-metre gardens that surround Bo Bardi's Casa de Vidro, or Glass House.

Located in São Paulo's Morumbi neighbourhood, the property was completed in 1950 as the architect's first built work. It provided the home for her and her husband, the Italian writer, curator and collector Pietro Maria Bardi.

With its simple concrete and glass form, and slender pilotis, it is celebrated today a key example of Brazilian modernism, and regularly visited by tourists.

Camacho's temporary structure provides a shelter for these visitors to enjoy coffee, lunch and the surrounding gardens during Brazil's warmer months. It opened on 15 December 2018 and will remain on site until 3 March 2019.

Following the principles of its revered modernist neighbour, and with no outer walls so it remains open to the outdoors, the design comprises slender columns that support a slim flat roof.

The main structure is wooden, blending in with the forested backdrop, and is shaped in curves to manoeuvre around the gardens.

Originally the remnants of Mata Atlantica – the rainforest that once surrounded São Paulo – the site was transformed by Bo Bardi over the years to feature tropical greenery, and stone and ceramic paths – all forming key parts of the property. A pocket of the forest grows straight up through the interior of Glass House.
Building Enclosure
Originally intended to be a 50,000-square-foot new national headquarters comprised of two separate buildings with the option to expand, the new American AgCredit building in Santa Rosa, Calif. blossomed into a 120,000-square-foot work of art. Completed in March 2016, this “Building in Motion” is comprised of two organically shaped buildings surrounding a central courtyard that is bridged together on two levels.

TLCD Architecture, also of Santa Rosa, worked with client and contractor (Jim Murphy & Associates) to bring the many goals into fruition – a flexible floor plan to accommodate rapid growth and change, collaborative space and transparency to reflect the company culture, and an energy efficient and sustainably designed structure.

TLCD served as both the architect and the interior designer making for a very cohesive approach towards the design. With flexibility at the forefront of the client’s goals, concepts like circulation, indoor/outdoor connection, space for individual concentrated work, places to connect, and flex space were all part of the project.

Creating the most agile interior possible to satisfy the requirements of the workforce at headquarters, different work zones were addressed throughout the floor plan. From open office workstations that convert from sitting to standing positions to demountable semi-transparent private office partitions, flexibility was the main objective.

This concept was further carried into the two meeting/project rooms that are adaptable for various sized group work. To achieve this, TLCD specified two 13 feet 8-inch wide NanaWall Single Track Sliding glass wall systems to be opened or closed to suit the needs of the group. To create a visually uninterrupted space when the panels are open, TLCD specified the system with no floor track required by using the system’s floor socket option.

“We were looking for a product that was easy to operate, energy efficient, very clean lines (and) modern. We are very comfortable using the NanaWall product and that was our ultimate selection,” says Don Tomasi, AIA, Principal of TLCD.
Building “envelopes” seal off our living and working space. It’s time for a more living architecture.

Traditional buildings are designed to provide protection against a savage world, with us safe on one side and our waste on the other. Architects have long relied on “hard” materials such as masonry, aluminum and glass, specifically chosen to prevent the outside environment from getting in. Impermeability was, and is, a driving goal.

It is time to rethink that approach. Our current built environment squanders too much fresh water and other vital resources, and tips too many poisonous substances into our surroundings. To develop a more sustainable relationship with the natural world, we need to allow chemical exchanges that take place within our living spaces, and between the inside and the outside. We need to embrace permeability.

Until the rise of modernity, a certain amount of the outside world always leaked into our living spaces, entering through crumbling brickwork, broken seals and open windows and doors. However, with the rapid growth of industrial cities in the mid-19th century, pollution, overcrowding and disease posed new external threats. The remedy was to exert tighter control over our habitats, with the result that buildings became true barriers.

Today’s building “envelopes” seal off our living and working spaces to a degree previously unencountered. In many offices, it is no longer possible to open windows manually to let in a breeze. Automated air-conditioning systems (often answering only to sensors and software) blast summer heat out into scorching walkways, amplifying the urban heat-island effect and contributing to heat-related health risks. Such buildings ignore the metabolism that is the dynamic scaffolding of living systems.

During the 1970s, the ecologists John and Nancy Jack Todd and William McLarney founded the New Alchemy Institute–now the Green Center on Cape Cod in Massachusetts–to reconceive building spaces as part of a self-sustaining human ecosystem. Such spaces would not be hermetically sealed, but rather open to the flow of natural elements. The research institute experimented with integrating a range of sustainable systems, such as solar power, organic agriculture, aquaculture and bio-shelter design, which went hand in hand with the permeability of these living spaces. Their results pointed a promising way forward.

Clarus Glassboards
You got a gig working from home. Well done! Now you get to build out your new home office. Our buying guide will help you create a workspace you’ll be happy to spend time in, while keeping you comfortable and productive throughout the day.

Uplift Desk

This height-adjustable, sitting-and-standing desk is configurable for the way you like to work. It starts at $500, and you pick different desktop sizes and materials, then add on options like wheels, drawers, keyboard trays, and cable management features. It goes from sitting height to standing height with the click of a button. The desk has enough brains to store four height settings, allowing two people to program their optimal sitting and standing heights.

Steelcase Leap

The Leap (starting at $940) is a great chair for any desk, from standing to height-adjustable to traditional. Ergonomically designed to keep you moving—and your blood flowing—even while sitting, the Leap can be configured with different fabrics and arm types, even a headrest. Set it up as a rolling swivel chair or a stool with a footrest, complementing both standing and sitting desk configurations.

HumanScale QuickStand Lite

You love the desk you already have. You and your desk have accomplished a lot together. But you sometimes wish you had a standing desk, too. The adjustable HumanScale QuickStand Lite ($600) attaches to your desk so you can raise your keyboard, mouse and display, letting you work while standing whenever you need a little extra pep.

Brother Laser Printer and Scanner

Every home office needs a printer and a scanner. It’s tough to do business without either. (Think of all those contracts you have to sign!) You need to get one that works, and one that isn’t so slow you start calling it worse names than the guy who cut you off on the freeway last week. Brother’s Wireless Compact Laser Printer and Scanner is a solid model, plus you can enable its Amazon Dash Replenishment feature that automatically ships new ink whenever you’re low.

Clarus Go! Mobile Glassboard

The whiteboard in your home office is kind of worn out, no? Admit it—the only good thing about it is sniffing the markers. Mobile Glassboards by Clarus go! (price varies) look fantastic, can be wheeled around the room, and are color-customizable to match the rest of your decor, your brand, or your mood. And don’t worry, man… same markers.

Fade Task Light

The Fade Task Light ($250) is a desk lamp that doesn’t look anything like a desk lamp. More important, you can adjust the brightness and color temperature of its LED array with a simple slide of your finger on its base. And its unique double-hinged arm, and 120 degree swivel, provides a wide variety angles and desk coverage options.

Artifox Shelf

The Artifox Shelf ($99) is an elegantly designed, wall-mounted shelf that also happens to be a magnet. “A magnet?” you ask. “What’s the point of that?” Well, you can stick your keys to the shelf’s backboard, and they won’t fall off. Where are your keys? Right there in front of your face. Or you can use magnetized book-ends to keep your books firmly and securely in place. Or, don’t use the magnets at all. The shelves will still look great on your wall.