Glass house | Architect’s Review

Project description


Initiated by Guardian Glass, the glass house designed by OFIS arhitekti in collaboration with structural engineers AKT ll and climate engineering Transsolar creates a comfortable low-energy living space in the desert.

The Glass House is a research prototype for a comfortable but elementary retreat in a tense juxtaposition with a harsh surrounding environment.

The project, initiated by Guardian Glass, questions the thermal and structural capacities of glass. Instead of focusing only on ‘glass as a window element’, the concept explored its advanced potentials, for example a transparent but shading element, a thin but thermally efficient envelope that is also the only structural support.

This project is a response to local and desert climatic conditions. This is both passive design and renewable energy production. The building’s footprint contains all the elements that make life possible, from power generation to wastewater treatment, while maintaining a comfortable interior only surrounded by uninterrupted and uninterrupted 360 ° views.

La Maison de Verre will be the setting for a one-week retreat for a single person or a couple. Guests will be selected from different tourism sharing platforms. The interior space is organized in 3 parts: bedroom, living room and bathroom with sanitary core in the middle with all spaces opening to the porch which is a covered and shaded outdoor platform which is protected from the sun and the wind.

The unit uses the envelope’s vertical glazing panels as structural walls, resisting high-speed desert winds and supporting the wood-clad roof and deck. The high thermal efficiency glass envelope consists of triple glazed walls which, thanks to the use of almost invisible coatings, protect the interior from the sun.

Quote from AKT II Structural Engineers: “This is the third iteration of our research and design collaboration with OFIS Architects, continuing our exploration of the intrinsic structural nature of glass and wood. Located in the harsh weather conditions of the Spanish Gorafe Desert, the unit uses the casing’s vertical glazing panels as structural walls, resisting high-speed desert winds and supporting the stressed wood skin roof. Our Envelopes team developed bespoke details to fit the structural function of the glazing and supported the customer during the procurement phase.

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