Glass

  • Atelier Risting recently completed this nice example of a rural cabin on a farm owned by the same family for over 150 years. Partly constructed with reclaimed materials, it's raised on stilts, runs off-the-grid, and serves as an idyllic vacation retreat to get away from it all.
  • ​​A US$100 million makeover of Seattle’s Space Needle has been completed, with the observation tower receiving a number of modern upgrades. Among the new features are a cantilevered staircase and what has been dubbed the world’s first revolving glass floor. ​
  • With its unique history, location, and population of monkeys, the Rock of Gibraltar is already an interesting place to visit, but it recently received a new viewing point too. Installed near a former British WWII anti-aircraft platform, it provides amazing views of the area.
  • PNNL has vitrified low-level radioactive waste taken from a tank at the decommissioned Hanford Site nuclear production complex in Washington state for the first time in a continuous process. The waste was turned into durable glass that immobilizes the radioactive and chemical compounds inside.
  • Windows let light, warmth and a view into rooms, but we don’t always want all three of those at once. That’s why researchers in Switzerland are developing a relatively simple method to smarten up windows by embedding tiny mini-mirrors in them and keep rooms comfortable all year round.
  • Researchers have developed a new polymer film that’s transparent, looks and feels like glass, and conducts electricity. The material is easy to manufacture on a large scale, should be less expensive than the commonly-used, inorganic indium tin oxide, and is more conductive than other polymers.
  • The glass we’re most familiar with is made from silicon dioxide, but now, an international team of scientists have developed a brand new class of glass, made from metal-organic compounds. These new materials form glass more readily than other types, and are much more pliable.
  • Slovenia's OFIS Architects recently completed a prototype micro-house that runs off-the-grid in Granada, Spain, and serves as a retreat for one or two people for up to a week at a time. The dwelling, appropriately dubbed Glass House, sports an energy-efficient triple-glazed glass facade.
  • Curtains or blinds might eventually get the flick in favor of smart windows. Now a team of engineers has demonstrated a new design. Dubbed Large-Area Fluidic Windows (LaWin), the system uses iron particles suspended in liquid to block sunlight at different levels, and harvest its heat energy.
  • Carlo Ratti Associati has taken a novel approach to designing a new factory for Italian tomato firm Mutti. It features a visitor's center with walls made from glass tomato sauce jars – tomatotecture, if you will – as well as a terrace allowing the public to watch the tomatoes being processed.
  • With blinds in front of our windows, we usually have to choose between light and privacy, but “smart glass" can toggle its opacity as needed. Now a University of Pittsburgh team has developed a new type of glass that can switch between hazy and clear in seconds – just add water.
  • Metallic glass is an emerging type of material, so its secrets are still being discovered. While working with the stuff, a team of Yale researchers created a brand new type of metallic glass, by shrinking samples down to the nanoscale until it forms a unique crystalline phase.