The Glass Chain
Imagine fluid and organic glass follies, or colourful crystal cathedrals that cover entire mountain chains and even reach into space. Emerging architecture and research practice Space Popular make their UK debut with a unique installation for the Werkstatt’s gallery space: The Glass Chain explores an alternative future for glass in architecture inspired by the legacy of the infamous Glass Chain Letters.
Sto Werkstatt’s brief for the new commission asks Space Popular to work with StoVentec Glass to redefine the limitations of the material and imagine its bright, colourful, and energising possibilities – encouraging us to imagine a new purpose for glass in building design.
The title The Glass Chain is a reference to the infamous exchange of letters by a group of German architects from 1919-1920 initiated by Bruno Taut, fantasising about the myriad of possibilities of this incredible material: glass. Yet the vision explored in the letters was never realised. These early days of modernism took a different turn: glass became a peripheral material of windows and walls with the ability to mediate spatial qualities while remaining invisible. Following the legacy of the Bauhaus movement, today the use of glass in architecture has become a largely functional element of a building.
Almost one hundred years later, Space Popular – inspired by the visions from that time – is taking up the mantle to wrestle glass from its modernist confines and set it free to enjoy bold colour, complex forms and new meanings.