Using glass like a piece of architecture is not a foreign idea. From palaces to cathedrals, glass has always found a way to incorporate itself into the design for a long time. Architectural glass art is a 21st-century take on the age-old glass design that you’re used to. It’s a functional bend of glass used both as a building as well as a design material. It’s brought to the modern masses with more versatile use and varied designs. These engineered glasses can withstand heat and weight and it has made it that much easier for the glass to enter the markets and, eventually, your spaces. And it’s not just plain, old glass. They come in all sorts of designs, which means you’re quite spoilt for choices when you start looking for your architectural glass art for your space.
India too isn’t untouched by this modern trend. A common feature in buildings today is glazing glass which combines aesthetic appeal with a host of practical benefits. For instance, glass is lightweight compared to other building materials reduces the weight on the foundations. The use of glass also creates the illusion of more space by opening up the room.
Walk to any area populated with office buildings or big malls, and you’ll see that most buildings, if not all, have an exterior glass wall. The glass used in these buildings are sturdy and durable – capable of withstanding the scorching heat during summer, the freezing temperatures in the winter, and rain and hail in the monsoon – and give off a clean and polished look, which explains why so many companies are opting for this material. Also, glass does not require high maintenance. It only needs to be cleaned once a fortnight or once a month and doesn’t need to be replaced for another 10-20 years
Interior spaces are also filling up with glass materials owing to their multi-functionality. The flexibility of the glass has encouraged designers and architects to play with its shapes and forms. There is a whole range of glass to use like Clear Sheet Glass, Toughened (tempered) glass, Laminated Glass (safety glass), Polished plate glass, Wired Glass, Smoked glass, Ground Glass, Reflective Glass, Insulating Glass, Tinted Glass, Foam Glass, Fiber Glass. Architects have found innovative ways to use glasses like ceramic printed glass, kiln formed glasses, digital ceramic painted glasses, etched glasses, glass blocks, and acid treated glass in interiors.
They are used in a lot of ways – staircases, cubicles, skylights, floors, partitions. It is not uncommon to see modern homes that have a small glass art installation either. Instead of having paintings, many people now install glass art on their walls. Bathrooms also have kiln formed heavy glasses to give privacy and beauty. Kitchens now see tiled backsplashes replaced by glass backsplashes. The digital ceramic glass is widely used as backsplashes – they have high heat and humidity resistance and also require minimal cleaning.
Although India uses glass extensively for buildings, the market has only just started warming up to using architectural glass art for the decorative purpose. There is expected to be a rise in using decorative glass in the near future with more homes opting for this lightweight, durable, and beautiful product.
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