Meeting New Demands
Today there is a fast moving economy – one where manufacturers are being forced to face demands that are unparalleled. Tailoring products to meet the demands of customers has taken on a whole new meaning, with new product developments and the speed of innovation gathering momentum to such a degree that there is little or no room for inaccuracies.
Couple that with the high speed technology of the Internet, then manufacturers have to offer more than ever before, as buyers look for fast efficient services that are becoming more reliant in online technology to speed up the buying process.
Reducing risk whilst embracing change is a difficult task for any business, perhaps more so at the moment as technology and design become more interlinked, however that is an area that this industry seems to love to embrace.
Glass itself continues to dominate with striking design becoming increasingly popular and building designs being crafted to create real touches of luxury across both domestic and commercial sectors. As a product it has a rich history dating back to around 3,500 BC in Egypt, and it has not lost its appeal – the new proposed designs for a South Korean ferry terminal really stretches conceptual architecture in a new way.
Belgian Architects, Vincent Callebaut, create ecological designs that emphasise sustainability and this design for a terminal in Seoul, is no exception. The idea behind the “Manta Ray,” concept aims to bring together nature with practical design. The proposed ferry terminal will sit next to gardens that will be suspended above the marina and will use marshland plants to naturally purify the Han River with the building producing all its energy via renewable sources.
Divided into three levels, glass will dominate the top of the structure as part of an observation deck that will include a rooftop orchard, leisure facilities and exhibition space. Solar power will be particularly important to the design with 49,000 sq. ft of solar cells due to be installed on a laminated glass facade.
“The “Manta Ray” project promotes the permeability and renaturalization of river banks in cities with rivers running through them. The goal is to make them less vulnerable to climate change, and to the subsequent dramatic flood and urban heat island events witnessed over the past decades.” Vincent Callebaut Architects recently commented.
Moving onto the domestic front glass and nature combine to create a truly striking project where glass is the predominant feature across the entire concept. Indios Desnudos can be found in Costa Rica and was created by Canas Arquitectos to provide the owners with the perfect blend of indoor and outdoor living.
Every living area has glass walls with windows that slide open to really embrace the idea of blending the home with its surroundings. These offer either a sea or forest view, all of which are interlinked via a number of walkways that boast breathtaking design which typically exemplify the beauty of glass in building design.
Turning towards the more commonplace arena of urban and suburban living, the correlation between the two is still all linked by concept but in the light of London’s recent disaster it does beg a question as to whether the suburbs will now become a more popular option.
Where urban regeneration continues to lead the headlines and the tough lessons associated not just with Grenfell Tower but so many more high rise towers across the UK, it does raise huge concerns now about their safety as a viable living option. Of course, there are still many who prefer the idea of towns with a main street, rather than big city living, however, whilst everyone of course wants amenities that are close to hand, perhaps the idea of suburbanism will increase in popularity. Optimising light will naturally continue to be a major aspect in these designs wherever the dwelling may be situated.
Over the last few decades more transparent buildings have been constructed with visual design being as important as glass functioning as a material within it. Refining design continues to be both challenging for architects, specifiers and builders with every glass type bringing a unique benefit to a project.
Glass and its sustainability in low energy building design is really at the beginning of a great new success story. There have been radical changes recently with extended functions for glass in modern architectural design. The continual improvement in solar reflection, thermal performance and light transmission has made this the material of choice for many, and it has greatly enhanced its necessity in low energy building concepts.
Continually in creative projects we see an increasing fascination to create something novel with its boundaries pushed and stretched. Creatives regularly utilise it as a key part of incredible artistic endeavours as can be shown in this glazed exhibition entitled New York City Ballet by Dustin Yellin …whether it’s for light airy rooms, improved living space, as a feature within a wall or whether it is simply making a bold artistic statement as a ‘window sandwich’ we are all still transfixed by its capabilities.