Andreas Profanter, partner of noa* network of architecture answered our questions on his perspective of glass and its various uses in their projects.
What concepts does glass as a building material evoke in your imagination?
Glass is the building material out of which the imaginary castles in our dreams are made of. It has this surreal feel to it. It dissolves boundaries and seems weightless at the same time.
Which criteria determine your preference in using glass (insulation, reflectivity, color, etc.) in the design process of your projects?
It is not so much about the technical criteria, but more about the aesthetical ones. The wide range of possibilities allows for many different applications not only for architectural purposes but also in the interior design.
Which buildings do you find the most impressive in its use of glass, why?
Greenhouses without a doubt, no other typology makes such good and consequent use of the technical properties and the aesthetical benefits of glass at the same time.
What are the attributes of glass that add value to building design?
Transparency is the main attribute of glass that comes to my mind. It is all about connecting the outside with the inside, merging spaces so that in the viewers’ eyes they become one.
How do these values reflect on your projects, how do you prefer to use glass?
As many of our projects are surrounded by natural scenery we often make use of large scale glass panels that allow for spectacular views. In the case of our recently finished viewing platform, we used a glass balustrade to enhance the feeling of standing on top of a glacier without having any perceptible barrier between you and the surroundings.
Could you share your vision for the creative use of glass in architecture?
When thinking about our daily life, we are used to a rather two dimensional understanding of spaces. Combining the unique properties of glass with the third dimension could make some quite interesting new experiences.
Photography: © Alex Filz (Hubertus 2-4, Ötzi Peak 5-9)