We were in awe when Apple unveiled its glass cube store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan in 2006. Since then, it has been a must-stop location for many snapshot-happy tourists in New York. It has also become an iconic landmark both in the tech and architecture realms.
Such is our fascination with glass structures. Can you just imagine living in one? There’s a sense of omniscience in being able to see almost everything that happens inside and outside your private space. More photo ops, perhaps? Bragging rights, most definitely.
If privacy from peeping Toms is not an issue for you, then a glass house is the perfect personal sanctuary. A home like this affords you a spectacular panoramic view of the outside and gives you the chance to commune with nature from a safe distance. A glass house also allows the interior to be filled with natural light (maybe even an oversupply of it).
We can enumerate a lot more reasons we adore glass houses. But really, they are just stunning to look at (and live in). Take a look at these breathtaking homes from around the world.
Church Point House in Sydney, Australia
Nestled at the top of the slope and among the trees, the Church Point House takes full advantage of the view and lush vegetation on the site. Its open-plan layout allows for a relaxing and refreshing respite all year round.
According to its designer Utz-Sanby Architects, "the house has a simple linear plan and is softened by the addition of timber decks that meet the ground at the back of the house. The curved steel beams that frame the decks and floor plate, are reminiscent of a ship’s prow and hover above the ground."
R128 in Germany
Designed by Werner Sobek, the four-storey R128 is made of 100% environment-friendly and recyclable materials. The glass house was constructed in just 11 weeks and engineered to be sleek and sustainable. It features solar panels on the roof. Believe it or not, it does’t have doors or walls as it is controlled by motion sensors and voice commands—like it’s straight out of a sci-fi movie. Cool!
The Dune House in Thorpeness, England
A glass house by an idyllic English seaside site? Drools. Just picturing the sights and sounds of the sea makes us want to click the “Book” button. Yup, it's for rent.
Here's what awaits you if you are lucky enough to get a reservation in this house built over a sand dune: four double bedrooms on the first floor, one bedroom on the ground floor, ground floor space that is visually open on all sides (therefore a view of the landscape and the sea!), library space, semi enclosed external terrace, state-of-the-art home appliances, and more. Vacationing with your pet? The Dune House can also accommodate one "well-behaved dog who respects and loves modern architecture."
Watervilla Kortenhoef in The Netherlands
This elegant lakehouse designed by Waterstudio gives the illusion that it is floating on water. But that's because a lot of glass was used to make the Watervilla Kortenhoef. The main level features the living room, dining room, and kitchen. The bed and bath space? They're on the lower level which is—drum roll please—located underwater, only receiving light from internal vides!
Glass House by Philip Johnson in Connecticut, USA
Declared a National Historic Landmark in 1997, the Glass House in Canaan, Connecticut sits on a 47-acre estate built by influential American architect Philip Johnson. The house has an "open floor plan in 18-feet-wide floor-to-ceiling sheets of glass between black steel piers and stock H-beams that anchored the glass in place." Everything inside the house is practically exposed except for the bathroom and fireplace. When you’re inside, consider yourself part of a grand display.
Jodlowa House in Krakow, Poland
Offering an amazing view of the distant Tatra Mountains, the Jodlowa House has the following amenities: two master bedrooms, living room, a bathtub overlooking the patio, reading zone, covered swimming pool, and a five-storey viewing tower. The colour accents here and there add a playful touch to the modern design of this one-of-a-kind glass house.
Optical Glass House in Hiroshima, Japan
The highlight of this glass house on a busy street in Hiroshima (cars and trams passing by the road) is its tree-filled courtyard. Like a true Japanese home http://www.cromly.com/stories/article/40601, Optical Glass House prioritises zen-like elements that create a private oasis for its dwellers. Japanese architect Hiroshi Nakamura and his studio NAP used 6,000 specially made glass blocks to build a two-storey-high wall. There's another split-level garden at the back of the house. Other features of the glass home include children's rooms, dining room, kitchen, and hobby room, among others.
Cluny House in Singapore
Chinese architect Neri & Hu designed this glass home for a private residence that can accommodate families across generations. There are three stories, with one storey located underground. Two overlapping L-shaped halves fold around a courtyard and two pools. According to Neri & Hu, "the overlapping land/house concept plays on the conventional notions of 'land' and 'house' by treating each as a “layer” and overlapping them to create interesting domestic spaces for a house complex, designed for a mother and her two daughters. The landscaping penetrates beneath the ground surface and folds into the interior vertical spaces."
It is a home designed to blur the boundaries—between inside and outside, land and house, private and public—to create a complex spatial experience. Nonetheless, it is one solid stunner in the heart of the Lion City.
Read more about the Cluny House here.