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Issue 2(66)/2021, p. 67-76

doi: 10.37190/arc210207

Marcin Brzezicki

Disturbance of transparency in the architecture of contemporary glass façades. Part 2


    Over the last two decades, new trends have emerged in the design of translucent façades. Those trends result from the dynamic technological progress and achievements in material engineering. The trends that are associated with the use of envelopes that interfere with the transmission of light through the façade are particularly interesting. This is strongly related to the significant transformation that took place in the dialectic of the building, the transformation of the “façade” into an “envelope”. The paper presents the author’s original distinction between the two most characteristic main sub-trends, distinguished based on optical phenomena occurring within the façade. The proposed division includes two main groups of disturbances: homogenous and heterogeneous. The former is present where panes of glass are used to disperse/diffuse light evenly, while the latter in façades with strong – usually printed – ornamentation. The article systematizes the issues of transparency disturbance in contemporary architecture and presents the typology of light-transmitting façades, in which this phenomenon takes place. The author also presents a matrix of relations that systematizes the presented case studies. Only this type of matrix makes it possible to illustrate an issue in which more than one variable is present. An assignment of the case studies to the trends and the determination of trend models are also included in the paper. The first part of the paper (published in March 2021) presents the introduction, methodology and simplified typology, the second one presents case studies, discussion and conclusions.

Key words: transparency, theory of architecture, façade glazing, printing on glass, coatings on glass

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