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Author Topic: Glass Block is Terrible  (Read 602 times)

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Offline clvlndr

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Re: Glass Block is Terrible
« Reply #120 on: October 08, 2015, 10:54:56 AM »
I noticed RTA used glass block for the windows in the platform indoor waiting area of the new Little Italy-Univ. Circle station ... Eeek! ... It's still a nicely-done station, though.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2015, 10:55:41 AM by clvlndr »

Offline eastvillagedon

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Re: Glass Block is Terrible
« Reply #121 on: November 23, 2015, 01:15:20 PM »

Online jmecklenborg

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Re: Glass Block is Terrible
« Reply #122 on: July 19, 2017, 12:50:11 AM »

Offline eastvillagedon

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Re: Glass Block is Terrible
« Reply #123 on: November 13, 2017, 12:58:07 PM »
I don't know how I missed this before, but this must be the Rose Window of Glass Brick, located in the Burlington Coat Factory on 6th Ave and 22nd St lol






Online surfohio

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Re: Glass Block is Terrible
« Reply #124 on: November 13, 2017, 01:01:18 PM »
^ Wow, that's really something.

Offline David

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Re: Glass Block is Terrible
« Reply #125 on: November 13, 2017, 01:13:47 PM »
They were definitely just using glass block for the sake of using glass block.

I'm confident glass blocks can be used tastefully with the right context, the right geometry along with that of neighboring materials but I just haven't really seen any examples of it (I don't think.) I think it would be really cool to see glass block used in a way that works well for a building. There has to be some cool buildings that have incorporated glass block, right?

You know what makes glass blocks look so horrible, forced and out of joint? They're manufactured squares, all of which have identical textures instead of irregular shapes that we appreciate in natural materials such as stone. The square shape itself is probably unnatural and just appears to be too forced, to be aesthetically pleasing. I can't think of any notable architecture wherein squares could be identified in its features.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2017, 01:16:13 PM by David »

Online surfohio

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Re: Glass Block is Terrible
« Reply #126 on: November 13, 2017, 01:24:21 PM »
^ Thoughtful glass block analysis there David. Why is it that glass block's considered awful, but this looks cool.

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/TeULAwbUZ1s/maxresdefault.jpg

One thing I don't like about glass block is that people use it as a window replacement in high-crime areas. Therefore when you see it, you can reason "I'm in an area with a crime problem."

Same thing with security screen doors. Or bars on windows. Or a "Keep Out" sign some people put on their houses lol.

Offline David

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Re: Glass Block is Terrible
« Reply #127 on: November 13, 2017, 01:38:44 PM »
^ Thoughtful glass block analysis there David. Why is it that glass block's considered awful, but this looks cool.

Sometimes, I wonder if I'm John Ruskin re-incarnated. I spew all these random philosophical thoughts regarding architecture based on nothing but immediate observations and no formal education on it, lol.

The crime aspect also makes sense. I know I've predominantly seen them used in areas of high crime. Though, instead of thinking of glass blocks as an indicator of crime, it could also be viewed as comforting. Still, fear is a strong emotion.

I think glass overall is a beautiful material, if you think about it's usefulness and various applications. I'm pretty confident in thinking that the shape/texture of the glass blocks with disregard for the materials and shapes surrounding it, are more to blame for its ugliness than the use of the material itself.

This is a really interesting thread. Glass blocks have somehow managed to become a stain on modern architecture, starting with the art deco movement and we need to get to the bottom of it and fix this.

Offline David

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Re: Glass Block is Terrible
« Reply #128 on: November 13, 2017, 01:43:29 PM »
Why is it that glass block's considered awful, but this looks cool.

https://i.ytimg.com/vi/TeULAwbUZ1s/maxresdefault.jpg


That does look cool! But the glass isn't defiantly much more textured (yet uniform in their texture) against the very cohesive and smoothly flowing rhythm of the brick. The glass windows also aren't square shape, which I'm confident would just instantly ruin the building. I don't know what it is about squares but there's something to be said about how they ruin buildings.

There needs to be a sense of harmony between the materials and shapes of different elements in order for it to be aesthetically pleasing. The reason Gehry's architecture works is because even though you see a huge contrast between building materials, they all flow with each other. You won't ever get that in buildings like the ones mentioned in this thread that have materials fundamentally different in their rigid patterns.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2017, 01:50:44 PM by David »

Online surfohio

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Online jmecklenborg

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Re: Glass Block is Terrible
« Reply #130 on: November 14, 2017, 11:07:45 AM »
I don't know why glass blocks are squares or why they aren't laid in an offset pattern like brick.  I work near a glass block place who I assume I could ask. 

Online GCrites80s

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Re: Glass Block is Terrible
« Reply #131 on: November 14, 2017, 11:17:44 AM »
Probably because you have to break brick at the ends. They could make half blocks for the ends.

Online jmecklenborg

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Re: Glass Block is Terrible
« Reply #132 on: November 14, 2017, 11:30:55 AM »
Probably because you have to break brick at the ends. They could make half blocks for the ends.

Ah yes.  But they could just use 2x glass blocks and keep the familiar cubes for the end. 

Or maybe a staggered glass block wall looks even worse.  I can't say for sure because I've never seen one. 

Offline eastvillagedon

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Re: Glass Block is Terrible
« Reply #133 on: November 14, 2017, 12:35:02 PM »

Glass blocks have somehow managed to become a stain on modern architecture, starting with the art deco movement and we need to get to the bottom of it and fix this.

And there was probably no better example of glass block gone wild than the long gone art deco Lake Theater in Painesville, which featured two tiered cakes of glass block flanking the entrance. By day they seemed to serve no purpose even as decorative objects, but blazed with light at night. This picture was probably taken about the same time the theater opened, since the movie on the marquee dates from the same year, 1939. But to this day I honestly don't think I've seen another example of glass block used in quite the same way. Too bad it was demolished.