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​​​Gianni Botsford, founder of Gianni Botsford Architects 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?

Dematerialization of architecture to allow freedom to express the difference between inside and outside space.

Which criteria determine your preference in using glass (insulation, reflectivity, color, etc.) in the design process of your projects?

In our design process, using glass comes after we have decided where and why we need an opening in a building. Is it to bring light in, is it to provide a view, or both? The technical requirements are important but not as important as correctly orientating a building to work passively.

Which building do you find the most impressive in its use of glass, why?

The Shard in London by Renzo Piano Workshop has transformed London’s skyline and yet is a different building every time you look at it. It absorbs the context of city and sky and, gives it back to the viewer.

What are the attributes of glass that add value to building design?

Strength, scale, versatility, and transparency.

How do these values reflect on your projects, how do you prefer to use glass?

We have used glass as a fifth facade, as a structural material, as a hurricane resistor, and as a means to enclose space whilst controlling the quantities and qualities of light. The endless permutations possible with glass create unique opportunities for each project and we try to use it as a protagonist wherever possible.

Could you share your vision for the creative use of glass in architecture?

The inherent connection between glass and light has been a focus of our practice from the beginning. Understanding the potential for light through forensic contextual analysis generates both the form and organization of a project and, glass becomes the interface between the place where light is introduced and the place where light is removed.

Photography: © Toby Glanville (1st), James Morris (2nd-3rd: White on White), Helene Binet (4th: Light House), Nick Cane (5th: Light House), Edmund Sumner (6th-7th: House in a Garden)