Thanks to its stunning design features, the use of glass in modern architecture is becoming increasingly popular. Some of the most iconic and attractive buildings in the world do in fact feature glass as a dominating material and below we have highlighted just a few of them.
The Botanical Garden of Curitiba
Located in the city of Parana in Brazil sits this major tourist attraction and landmark. The Botanical Garden of Curitiba opened in 1991 and was created in the style of French gardens. It’s art nouveau style comprises of a modern metallic structure and resembles the mid-19th century Crystal Palace in London. The greenhouse boasts 458 square metres and features relaxing fountains, waterfalls and lakes as well as many different plants which originate from tropical regions.
The Basque Health Department Headquarters
Situated in Bilbao, you would be forgiven for thinking that this building houses an art gallery or museum. This 13-story building is actually one of the most iconic in Spain and is home to the Basque Health Department. Its polyhedral glass façade allows natural light to enter the premises and enables the elimination of conventional air-conditioning and false ceilings. Its innovative design helps to reduce air recirculation, improve health conditions of employees and the resources consumed during construction were significantly reduced making it more environmentally friendly.
Hotel W, Barcelona
Another Spanish building making the list is this 5-star hotel in Barcelona. Hotel W was designed by Ricardo Bofill and is covered by glass which transmits natural light. It has been constructed in the shape of a sail which has earned it the nickname Hotel Vela (Hotel Sail). As well as its incredibly impressive design, Hotel W also provides guests with some of the most spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea.
Possibly one of the most famous glass buildings in the world is the Louvre Pyramid in Paris. The construction was completed in 1989 and serves as the main entrance to the Louvre Museum. It comprises of one large glass and metal pyramid surrounded by three smaller pyramids and has become one of France’s most famous and iconic landmarks.
Also known as 30 St Mary Axe, The Gherkin is one of the tallest and most impressive structures in London. Made up of an impressive 500,000 square feet, the majority of the building is covered with thick glass panels which enhance the use of natural light and temperature. The 41-story building also uses much less energy compared to similar structures and received the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Stirling Prize in 2004.
Dancing House, Prague
Also known as Fred and Ginger, the Dancing House is a truly unique piece of modern architecture. Located near the Vltava River in Prague, the shape of this building resembles a pair of dancers in tribute to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Although its construction has been controversial, it was awarded Design of the Year by Time magazine in 1996.
The National Centre for Performing Arts, Beijing
Designed by French architect, Paul Andreu, this construction is made up entirely of titanium and glass and thanks to its unique shape, is commonly referred to as ‘The Giant Egg’. Surrounded by an artificial lake, The National Centre for Performing Arts houses an opera house, concert hall and theatre hall which can seat more than 5,000 guests.