I have what some of my friends think of as a quirky habit. I guess it started about 10 years ago when I visited Barcelona with my sister. We were strolling along, taking in the energy and excitement of the city, when I was diverted by something along a side street. I turned, dragging my sis along with me and starting snapping pictures.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
“The glass! See, the point-supported glass wall!”
Since then, it seems like I return from trips with more glass architecture images than anything else. Yes, it may be odd to some people, but I like remembering the architecture of the city. Even though that picture I took in Barcelona didn’t turn out so well (yes, it was film), I remember that day and the time I spent with her there.
Last weekend, while in New York, I had the chance to visit the 9/11 Memorial. First, I must say, it is beautiful and moving. Just walking around the area was surreal. The museum was designed by architectural firm Snøhetta and the outside of the pavilion
features extensive glass.
The museum sits, of course, just below SOM’s 1 World Trade Center; the shimmering glass tower that stands a symbolic 1776 feet tall—the tallest building in the nation. In fact, the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat just announced its 2015 Best Tall Building winners, one of which is 1 WTC.
Also in the vicinity, is Calatrava’s still under-construction “Oculus,” the World Trade Center Transportation Hub. Once completed, the station replaces the original Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) rail system that was destroyed on 9/11. The Oculus is made of steel ribs and glass “arrayed in a large elliptical shape. The ribs extend to create two canopies over the north and south portions of the plaza,” as described on Calatrava’s website. Enclos is serving at the façade contractor.
The hub also features a 330 foot operable skylight that will open on temperate days as well as annually on 9/11.
Speaking of transportation, I couldn’t help but be excited when a quick subway trip from nearby Central Park back to lower Manhattan landed us in Fulton Station. We had
featured the project a few months ago in the February USGlass for its fire-rated glazing supplied by Technical Glass Products. But the project incorporates an abundance of glass and glazing, creating a bright, light-filled space.
There’s just one more picture I want to share. I took this last fall while strolling along the Champs-Élysées in Paris. It first caught my eye because it was a cool use of glass, but once
I got a better look it was even more intriguing. The building is a pharmacy! I suppose being on such a fashionable street anything less would simply not work.
If you’re like me and take pictures of glass architecture on vacations I’d love to see them. Feel free to email me pictures and tell me what made you stop and click.
Barcelona/La Rambla has some of the most amazing architecture I’ve ever seen.