Is there a future for prismatic glass?
We tend to judge glass by how much we don’t see it. As big as possible, uninterrupted surfaces of nothing. But glass is matter. Glass has color. Glass has texture. Glass has the power to concentrate or disperse light. Czech glass artists Stanislav Libenský and Jaroslava Brychtová (collaborated from 1962-2002) beautifully articulate the architectural potential of glass.
When you look normally, your perspective narrows and when you look through a glass, small things get bigger. By means of the lens. This is the principle of glass we would make use of and I think it makes the glass used in architecture look monumental.
S. Libenský J. Brychtová
Is there a future for prismatic glass?
Falconnier's prismatic blown glass bricks in the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture (toilets).
The craft of prismatic glass in architecture has its origins in the design of deck lights for ships in the 17th century. For fire safety, prismatic glass was used to replace the use of oil lamps below deck. In 19th century New York and Chicago glass prisms were integrated in pavements to light souterrains below, as electricity was expensive. There was a period in architectural history, in the interbellum, just before the invention of float glass, when prismatic glass building bricks were a topic of innovation. Architects like Frank Lloyd Wright, Hendrik Petrus Berlage, Piet Zwart and Gustave Falconnier used techniques of glass blowing, pressing and casting to develop prismatic bricks, to let more light into buildings with less material. Fantastic colorful designs were produced by the Royal Glassware in Leerdam and Saint-Gobain Glassware in Paris.
Is there a future for prismatic glass?
Historical examples of prismatic glass by HP Berlage, AD Copier, FL Wright, J Habraken, G Falconnier, Le Corbusier
Although in theory glass can be endlessly remelted without loss in quality, in practice only a small percentage gets recycled, mainly by the float and packaging industry. Most of the discarded glass fails to pass the high quality standards of the prevailing glass industry -due to coatings, adhesives, other contaminants or incompatibility of the recipe- and ends up in the landfill. Employing discarded glass in cast components can be a way to reintroduce this waste to the supply chain. Cast glass units–due to their increased cross section– can tolerate a higher degree of impurities and thus can be produced by using waste glass as a raw source, without necessarily compromising their mechanical or aesthetical properties.
T. Bristogianni F. Oikonomopoulou
In current times, there is a renewed role for recycled glass, which needs much lower temperature to be shaped into new glass than the virgin materials. However, the ‘impurities’ that the glass contains due to coatings etc, gives them specific colours, for example a high iron content makes the glass greener. Using beer bottles for building was famously done by John Habraken for the World Bottle by Heineken, unfortunately never taken into mass production.
Is there a future for prismatic glass?
The World Bottle (WOBO) by John Habraken, developed as a beer bottle for Heineken to be reused as a building brick.
Is there a future for prismatic glass?
Prismatic forms used to do slumping, casting, blowing, milling experiments
Currently, la-di-da is doing some testing of its own, generously supported by Stimuleringsfonds Creative Industrie at MAKE Eindhoven to see if reused glass can be formed into prismatic tiles through casting, slumping, blowing and milling. For the process of casting, glass is cleaned, sorted by colors (it is important not two different types of bottles are mixed), crushed (a consistent size of cullet is needed), and then fired at 950 degrees. The plaster molds were made from 3D prints, each form was cast twice to test twice (once with float glass, once with green bottle glass). The higher the iron content, the less translucent the shape. The fused points remain quite visible, reducing the prismatic effect. For slumping, two different thicknesses of floatglass were used, and cleaned, and cut to size (square and circle), and fired at 750 degrees. Glass likes to be 6mm thick, so this can be considered when choosing a thickness. Thinner glass tends to warm up more around the edges and that might mean it stretches itself over a form, sometimes creating air pockets. The molds were CNC milled from massive blocks of plaster. Currently, the CNC milling machine is being transformed into an aquarium to make more shallow tests for milling the glass! la-di-da is also working with MAKE to cast a bronze mold for glass blowing that can be reused multiple times.
Is there a future for prismatic glass?
CNC milled molds with glass cut to size in the kiln ready for slumping
Is there a future for prismatic glass?
Slumped glass after firing still in mold (fresnel lens and basement prims).
Is there a future for prismatic glass?
One of the slumped circular prisms in 2mm glass after firing.
Is there a future for prismatic glass?
One of the cast prims, based on the fresnel lens, in high iron content bottle glass.
S. Libensky J. Brychtova
S. Libensky J. Brychtova
Thomas S. Buechner, Sylvia Petrova
The Czech couple Stanislav Libensky and Jaroslava Brychtova have become the world's leading glass artists over the last 40 years. They have transformed glass into a new substance they call "color in space." Made from clear or colored glass, their sculptures and other objects interact with light to create spectacular optical effects. This major monograph is the first comprehensive documentation of Libensky and Brychtova's unparalleled creations. Offering a critical and historical survey of their work, the book includes illustrations of Brychtovas pate de verre of the late 1940s, Libensky's early enameled glasses and tableware designs, and the collaborative sculpture and architectural commissions that began in the 1950s and continue to the present day.
Glass! Love!! Perpetual Motion!!!
Glass! Love!! Perpetual Motion!!!
author Paul Sheerbart, edited by Christine Burgin
German writer, critic, and theorist Paul Scheerbart (1863-1915) died nearly a century ago, but his influence is still being felt today. Considered by some a mad eccentric and by others a visionary political thinker in his own time, he is now experiencing a revival thanks to a new generation of scholars who are rightfully situating him in the modernist pantheon. Glass! Love!! Perpetual Motion!!! is the first collection of Scheerbart's multifarious writings to be published in English. In addition to a selection of his fantastical short stories, it includes the influential architectural manifesto Glass Architecture and his literary tour-de-force Perpetual Motion: The Story of an Invention. The latter, written in the guise of a scientific work (complete with technical diagrams), was taken as such when first published but in reality is a fiction--albeit one with an important message. Glass! Love!! Perpetual Motion!!! is richly illustrated with period material, much of it never before reproduced, including a selection of artwork by Paul Scheerbart himself. Accompanying this original material is a selection of essays by scholars, novelists, and filmmakers commissioned for this publication to illuminate Scheerbart's importance, then and now, in the worlds of art, architecture, and culture.
What’s the point of this website?
Are timber pile foundations feasible?
Can I commission you for my project?
What’s an internship at la-di-da like?
close article (x)