Ervin Taçi, co-founder and creative partner of MA Studio & Partners answered our questions on his perspective of glass and its various uses in their projects.
What concepts do glass as a building material evoke in your imagination?
In terms of architecture, glass represents transparency. Architectural “play” is an equilibrium between solids and voids. Voids mostly are preferred to be transparent in our perception, and glass is of course very important in that.
Which criteria determine your preference in using glass (insulation, reflectivity, color, etc.) in the design process of your projects?
The first one is, just as I said, transparency. It creates an image of the overall equilibrium of the volumes you conceive as part of the project program. Then, when you go further in the design process, the energy efficiency of the building, reflectivity and color become important parameters. All these are closely connected with what architects have in their art-minds for the specific themes of their projects.
Which building do you find the most impressive in its usage of glass, why?
Swiss-Re building (aka Gherkin) of Norman Foster in London is an iconic glass structure. It exalts everything of the material, but at the same time in its simplicity it demonstrates the greatness of sculpturing a form.
What are the attributes of glass that add value to building design?
Beyond its material connotations, transparency is a philosophy of life. Simultaneity, interpenetration, superimposition, ambivalence, space-time, transparency… In contemporary architecture literature, these words and others like them are often used as synonyms. This dual conception of the actual and apparent transparency appears, above all, to be a precise tool for the study of architecture. It distinguishes between essence and appearance in the concept of transparency, refers to the relationship between content and form in architecture, and reminds us of the still enormous question of what a building is or what it means.
How do these values reflect on your projects, how do you prefer to use glass?
Architecture comes internally and instinctively by your philosophy of life and design. The use of glass cannot go beyond it, rather it’s part of your philosophy.
Could you share your vision for the creative use of glass in architecture?
Since the iconic Glass House of Philip Johnson, the material is leading the way as a building material in its “extreme” applications, when it comes to design innovation and beauty. Glass can determine the design of the entire structure, can open up a building to the outside environment while controlling the interior space. Perhaps that is why we are becoming aware of its increased flexibility and design flow, which points out to glass as an organic solution.