In the Know Summer 2021

Designing with Decorative Glass: A Look at Product Innovations and Resources for Unique Applications

By Ellen Rogers

From colorful laminates, to textures, patterns and even printed designs, decorative glass and glazing products continue to offer architects and designers plenty of opportunities to create one-of-a-kind spaces—for both interior as well as exterior applications. To help meet those demands, glazing industry companies are continuing to push the limits of what’s possible in decorative glass.

Indoor Showcase

Laminated glass fabricated with colorful, decorative interlayers are one of the most popular ways to bring both aesthetics and safety to a project. That was the case with Kaleidoscope, a kindergarten building located in Tianshu City, Gansu Province, China, the 2020 interior division winner of the Vanceva World of Color awards. Designed by SAKO Architects, the project features Eastman’s Vanceva PVB in red, orange, yellow, green and blue that was laminated by Shanxi Jingfeng Glass Co. Ltd.

The project was designed to ignite children’s creativity with its pattern of laminated glass. When sunlight shines in from classrooms and the atrium’s glass ceiling onto the school’s central stairway, colorful shadows of varying shapes form free-flowing rainbows for a kaleidoscope effect that rotates with the sun’s movement throughout the day.

Façade Displays

Direct-to-glass printing is one technology that’s seen tremendous growth over the past decade. Advances in both the printer technology as well as the inks that are used have made it possible to print extremely high quality images onto glass. One recent example is the Aleja Shopping Center in Ljubljana, Slovenia. It is the first all-new shopping mall to open in Europe after the COVID-19 shutdown, and done in compliance with the strict guidelines for safety, sustainability and outstanding aesthetic criteria. Designed by ATP Architekten Ingenieure, the prismatic-shaped structure features glass fabricated by Tvitec; Pichler Projects
was responsible for the façade. Tvitec fabricated nearly 4,000 meters of glass into unique specimens for the project, the majority of which were decorated using Tecglass digital printing technologies. The glass was engineered to offer aesthetics, efficiency and comfort, and includes insulating, tempered and laminated glass, with some lites incorporating a sun protection film.

Design Assistance

While there are plenty of products readily available, custom solutions are also available. To help architects and designers navigate those possibilities, Bendheim, for example, launched a new virtual tour of its New York City-based design lab. This new resource combines its fully customizable architectural glass product line with the ability to initiate consultative design.

According to Bendheim vice president Steven Jayson, the virtual tour provides “a collaborative hub, where we use a wealth of materials and our design consultants’ expertise to invent unique solutions for projects. We have the ability to demonstrate everything from a completely new aesthetic to the right
system to install the glass … It is not about displaying products. It’s about delivering a productive and rewarding consultative design experience.”

Virtual guests can see glass in large sizes and full-scale mockups. They can also access detailed product literature, view project case studies, and see how the products are made and tested. And for those who still prefer a live experience, the design lab is open by appointment for in-person meetings, where proper safety protocols are in place.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.