When designing luxury houses, most architects agree that creating a personalized sense of space for the inhabitants of the homes is what makes for good design. No matter how plush the flooring or how high-end the light fittings, a space that does not invite people is a failed space. Designers look to innovate in terms of materials used, but the ethos of creating a warm and friendly environment remains the same.
Traditionally, architects and designers were partial to using wood and brick in order to create intimate spaces. This style worked when houses had light coming in through large windows, unfettered by small setbacks and neighbours with tall homes. Today’s home requires innovative solutions to capture the warmth of the sun streaming in while balancing the reality of urban life.
An oft-overlooked material, particularly by home-owners, is glass. This versatile material has been used in many innovative ways to create spaces that are warm, inviting, and full of light.
A Skylight for Diffused Lighting
A simpler way of using glass, albeit in a manner that maximizes its effect, is its usage to create a skylight.
Skylights work as a delightful result of experimenting with glass which not just brings in soft light but is also used to demarcate different areas based on the quality and positioning of the light coming through. The juxtaposition of light on brick increases the feeling of intimacy, while the glass and other materials themselves tie the design firmly in the contemporary space.
In the common areas, glass can be used to bring in diffused light which ties up the large space. When used in the bedroom, light coming in through a trellis can cuts down the harsh sunlight to create more intimacy. By using specialised glass such as climate-responsive or burglar-proof variants, glass skylights can also ensure ambient temperatures and safe living without having to resort to ungainly security structures.
A Glass Partition for Demarcating Space
Glass can be used to add lightness to the spaces while also being an element that demarcates the different areas. With a large open plan for the common areas, using different materials, including glass, distinguishes between separate areas like the living, dining, and lounge areas, while also providing contrast with the solid surfaces to open the floor horizontally. This link between the outside and inside is made stronger by the addition of glass and the welcoming warmth of light.
A Glass Design for Visual Appeal
Glass can be used in a number of different ways, all to different effect. Glass designs effectively incorporate the outside into the inside by the way of a central green courtyard. It is used to separate the living spaces from the courtyard while still providing the vital visual link between the two.
Glass, along with perforated wood elements, is used to create shifting patterns on the walls, which itself becomes a design feature.
A Glass Walkway for Structural Connections
For designers of welcoming homes, concerns over creating a unified space, connecting separate spaces, are often prevalent. A great solution is to bring in glass in the curated form of a walkway, which is then connected to the rest of the house both visually or functionally. The drawcard of glass is that, as a walkway, it serves its purpose to create connection while also being a design element that does not overtake the central focus.
A Glass Façade for Climate Control
Glass is versatile enough to be used functionally and as a design element to solve a very specific problem– for instance, climate responsiveness and control.
In cold areas, designers and architects often have to solve the issue of having enough natural light without creating too many large openings that could turn into a heating fiasco come winter. The solution, then, is to incorporate specialised, climate-responsive glass into a massive façade. This brings in light while allowing the rest of the walls to have smaller openings. When used in tandem with wood, the resulting structure combines the lightness of glass and the earthiness of lumber to create a cosy and intimate nook which is at the same time light and airy.
Glass has come a long way in terms of material innovation. However, the innovative use of glass is when the material truly shines. In the methods explained, glass has invariably been used in a unique manner to change and invigorate the nature of a space. When used thoughtfully, glass functions as a true design element tailored to do exactly what you want it to– draw the eye, connect spaces, let in light and open up a space. It can also be customised to suit your safety, privacy and environment-related needs, making it all the more indispensable to luxury architectural design.
It is time that we look at the material beyond its usual utility and traditional use, and experiment with design, technology and innovation to increase the quality of luxury spaces.