Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Future Is Glass; Homes and Property

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Future Is Glass; Homes and Property

Article excerpt

Byline: BARBARA CHANDLER

Advanced technology means glass can go cloudy at the flick of a switch, resist heat and take amazing weights. Barbara Chandler reveals all

GLASS is the material of the moment. Vast public structures such as Sir Norman Foster's canopy at the British Museum's Great Court are being echoed domestically by the capital's most innovative architects. They are exploiting clever new techniques for wider spans of glazing than was previously thought possible.

In revamps and new buildings all over town we are seeing not only huge windows and skylights and great glass walls, but also glass floors and staircases.

Interior and product designers have taken up the theme. They are using glass for table tops, shelving, doors, partitions and shower screens, but we've seen that before. What is new is that glass is being used in the design of everything from worktops and washbasins, to curtain finials and door handles.

Soon, it seems, even glass baths will be commonplace.

Peter Wadley (020 8752 8648) is an architect who while extolling the advances in glass technology is also putting them into practice. He says: "We can now benefit from extremely ingenious ways of building up layers of glass so that the final result firstly won't fall apart on impact and secondly is fire resistant - a crucial requirement for many parts of the home." He says the big appeal of large glass sheets is the sense of space, or, in architectural terms, "it allows us to slide seamlessly from one volume to another". In other words, you can sit in one area and enjoy another without moving.

The newest developments in glass include sheets that go cloudy at the flick of a switch for instant privacy; "radiator" glass that contains heating elements and glass to keep the heat in and cold out. …

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