Volume 43, Issue 4 - April 2008

GANA Perspectives

Design in Glass Winners Announced 
GANA Awards Showcase Versatility of Glass
by Brian Pitman

As we all know, glass hasn’t truly “gotten its due” in the architectural community yet, but the tide is changing as the aesthetic of the future begins to take root in the pillars of architectural society today. Industry-changing trends such as daylighting and green building have embraced the use of our favorite building material. The increase in the designer’s glass palette has made for compelling designs in today’s world, and nothing illustrates that more clearly than the winners of GANA’s Design in Glass Awards.

Winners were named in several categories that covered both residential and commercial applications. All of the winners embraced glass as a viable design tool with endless potential. Each took an approach that sometimes surprised our panel of judges, but all featured a point of view that highlights the versatility of glass.

“The quality of entries was absolutely stunning,” says Rachel Long, special projects editor for Hospitality Design magazine, and member of the Glass in Design judging panel. “Glass can be amazing in design in the home or business, and these winners really show that.”

Walking on Air
Glass staircases have become an incredibly popular design element and something we have all seen much more of lately, both in retail stores (such as the Apple store in New York) and public spaces, but also as a new element in the home. The “walking on air” sensation was only increased by the winner of the Laminated Glass—commercial category, the Grand Staircase at the Four Seasons Centre for Performing Arts in Toronto, Canada. This staircase, designed by Halcrow Yalles in Toronto and installed by Josef Gartner USA in Schaumburg, featured support elements also made of glass, giving the entire system a truly transparent effect that illustrated the strength of glass in structural support.

Versatile and Beautiful Functionality
Glass in nearly any application is beautiful, but functionality expands that beauty even further. Decorative Glass—commercial category winner Cielo Restaurant in Boca Raton, Fla., designed by Bentel & Bentel Architects/Planners, AIA of Locust Valley, N.Y., and featuring J.E. Berkowitz glass installed by M. Cohen and Sons of Broomall, Pa., gave what was essentially an “all glass” restaurant warmth and beauty. Glass walls provide unique differentiation between rooms while still allowing light to enter spaces, and glass tables offer a modern dining surface while giving an open-air feel to rooms. 

Green Design
Green design has become a huge trend in the architectural community, and liberal use of glass is one of the signatures of this trend. The Santa Monica Civic Center Parking Structure, designed by Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners of Santa Monica, Calif., and installed by Woodbridge Glass Inc. of Tustin, Calif., took a blend of tempered, laminated glass with colorful interlayers, added a photovoltaic approach to the system and created a piece of art out of a parking garage. This energy-efficient system epitomizes the beauty, versatility and overall need for glass as a design element.

To view photos and videos of the 2007 Design in Glass winners, including all of our residential winners, log on to www.glasswebsite.com

Brian Pitman is the director of marketing and communications for the Glass Association of North America. Mr. Pitman’s opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.

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