Atelier FCJZ have designed the Vertical Glass House as their entry for the annual Shinkenchiku Residential Design Competition. It is located in Shangai, China and it is now used as a guest house for visiting architects and artists.
The Vertical Glass House’s structure consists of a concrete cast with rough timber exterior. The interior uses smooth wood and exposed concrete but the main feature of this residence is the opaque square tube that the entire interior is organized with. Unlike the rest of the glass houses, the transparency is internal without revealing anything to the outside. In fact, everything in the house is exposed but only to itself. It is totally concealed from the outside world.
The interior spaces of the Vertical Glass House are divided into exact cubes by crossing steel columns that are supported by a singular steel column at the very center of the home.
Each floor is a 3 inch thick, tempered glass panel divided in quadrants while the floors are connected through a metal spiral staircase that extends through the 4 levels of the building.
The floor planes break through the wall through horizontal slit openings which creates an interesting effect at night where they get naturally illuminated and start to glow on the outer side.
Vertical Glass House is a housing prototype for a high-density contemporary city and discusses the notion of transparency in verticality while serving as a critic of Modernist transparency in horizontality. Vertical Glass House is on one hand spiritual: With enclosed walls and transparent floors as well as roof, the house opens to the sky and the earth, positions the inhabitant right in the middle, and creates a place for meditation. On the other hand, Vertical Glass House is material: Vertical transparency visually connects all the utilities,ductworks, and furniture, including staircase, into a system of domesticity and provides another reading of the modern theory of “Architecture as living machine”.
Plans of the Vertical Glass House
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