Glass is not just meant for windows and conservatories you know! We can do so much more with this wonderfully versatile and robust material. Some of the world’s most famous and iconic buildings are made almost entirely from glass; creating both unique and fully functional construction masterpieces.
With this in mind we have brought to you 10 of the world’s most impressive and iconic glass buildings and structures. From the visually beautiful to the architecturally astounding, each and every construction in this list is impressive in its own right. So without further ado…
National Centre for the Performing Arts
First up we’re in China – also known as The National Grand Theatre – this wonderfully futuristic building can be found in Beijing close to Tiananmen Square. Designed by architect Paul Andreu, the droplet shaped dome is situated in a man-mad island and plays host to a whole concert hall, opera house and a shopping centre!
Built in 1989, the Louvre Pyramid is just like everything else in Paris – smothered with romance! Situated right next to the Louvre Museum, this is one of the most iconic structures in the entire world.
Kanagawa Institute of Technology Workshop
This completely transparent studio space is not that complicated at all, but its beauty lies within its simplicity. Students and occupants of the building can work in optimal natural light, creating a beautifully natural place of work. This is how to bring the outside in!
The Aldar Headquarters
How this was designed and constructed baffles us all! To call this an architectural feat is an understatement. Located in Abu Dhabi, The Aldar Headquarters is an office building with a difference – it is completely circular. Covered completely with glass panels, it’s like the sky has its own monocle!
Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Designed by world renowned architects, Willem Jan Neutelings and Michiel Riedijk, The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision truly is a masterpiece. Officially one of the most colourful buildings in the world, the visual appeal rating is through the roof! The building is shaped like a cube and covered with hundreds of coloured cast-glass panels.
The Sage’s primary function is to act as the centre of performing arts and music education for the city of Gateshead in England. A lot of conferences are also held in the building, designed by leading architects Foster and Partners. Steel and glass are the construction’s primary materials.
The Gherkin is the affectionate name given to 30 St Mary Axe, due to its unusual shape and size. This building maximises the use of natural daylight with thick, laminated glass surrounding the building. This is an iconic image of London’s financial district and will be for years to come.
The Dancing House
The architectural design of this building is simply mind-blowing. Where do we even begin? Designed by architect Vlado Milunic, this building in Prague is meant to bear a resemblance to famous dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. How it looks will depend largely on your own personal taste – this one may be too ‘out there’ for a lot of traditional architects and designers. But we love it!
Basque Health Department Headquarters
Another building dripping with architectural wonder is the Basque Health Department Headquarters situated in Bilbao. Used as an office building (surprisingly) the 13-storey structure is one of the most recognisable in Spain. The polyhedral glass facade allows natural light to invade and drench the interior.
Last but certainly not least, the tallest building in England! Completed in 2012, the facades of angled glass reflect sun rays upwards towards the sky. So the appearance of the structure changes depending on the weather – which in England can change in an instant! The view it provides of the capital is unrivalled anywhere else and it has changed the skyline dramatically for photographers to admire for years to come.