Dagmar Štěpánová, founder of Formafatal answered our questions on her perspective of glass and its various uses in their projects.
What concepts does glass as a building material evoke in your imagination?
Lightness, transparency, reflection, light and heat transmission, timelessness, purity, but also playfulness. In my interpretation, glass is also a "view" and the least disturbing material, which -although it defines a certain space- is not considered as a barrier. At the same time, I perceive it as a very malleable material, giving us a lot of possibilities and freedom.
Which criteria determine your preference in using glass (insulation, reflectivity, color, etc.) in the design process of your projects?
In general, it is mainly the color, the transparency, and then also the structure. When I think about glass in the interior, I am fascinated by its processing and possibilities of use, which overlap with the design and works of art very well. It always depends on the specific project and its concept, we create assignments accordingly.
Which building do you find the most impressive in its usage of glass, why?
There is a number of such buildings, but I will list the ones that come to my mind first, which fascinated me and anchored in my head.
Farnsworth House in Chicago by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Glass House by Philip Johnson. I just love those iconic buildings, that blur the boundaries between the inner and outer world.
Optical Glass House by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP offers a fascinating play of light, minimalistic, and at the same time great example of how the glass can appeal soft and warm.
Crystal House by MVRDV has a playful facade that soaks into the historic building with an unconventional and very sensitive approach and has beautiful details.
What are the attributes of glass that add value to building design?
Longevity, transparency and plasticity.
How do these values reflect on your projects, how do you prefer to use glass?
Currently, most projects we are working on are settled in the tropical jungle of Costa Rica. The glazed parts of the facades allow the lush vegetation to visually sneak into the interiors of the houses but at the same time, we use glass to create safe and comfortable zones within the layout. In our interior projects, the use of glass strongly adapts to the conceptual solution. The Czech Republic is known for its glassmaking, which has a long tradition here, and experienced glassmakers create, among other things, their own technologies. We have many possibilities and creative freedom for our interior projects in this respect.
Could you share your vision for the creative use of glass in architecture?
My vision focuses on the topic of sustainability in architecture, materials used, recycling, and environmental approaches. This is a vision that should be at the beginning of every production and process before the creative ones.
Photography: © BoysPlayNice