When the yearning comes for getting away from the hectic reality of modern life, few places will satiate the desire better than the Tree Hotel in Sweeden. Designed by Tham & Videgård Arkitekter, the 4x4x4 metre ‘Mirrorcube’ consists of a lightweight aluminium frame hung from a tree trunk. The structure is dressed up with reflective glass, which mirrors the natural environment outdoors and camouflages the hotel room.
Within the cube, the room is decorated in rustic, understated plywood and caters for two people. We may be touching on Tardis territory when I tell you that within this seemingly petite cube, there is a double bed, a kitchen, a bathroom, a living room and a roof terrace (not technically within!). All of this is accessed via a 12 metre bridge.
The main selling point of this novel hotel room surely has to be the 360º panoramic view of the beautiful natural surroundings that the guests have. Elevated and secluded with sights of lakes and mountains, this hotel room is design at its best.
This house in the leafy area of Maastricht, Netherlands is one of the coolest glass houses that I’ve seen. Designed by Wiel Arets Architects, the house consists of interior and exterior walls made entirely of opaque and transparent glass.
The differing opacity of the glass means that different lighting effects are created within the house dependent on the time of day and what season it is. Curtains in the house add to this effect and also offer a degree of privacy.
There are a few rectangular columns inside the house which are used to support the structure of the two concrete slabs that the house is built upon. They are situated so as to not disrupt the minimal feel of the interior.
The house was designed for an actor and a dancer who work together as landscape architects. The garden at the back of the house is a perfect place for them to carry out this work. The garden is occasionally open to the public too.
Grand architecture has long been adorned with overarching stained glass ceilings. They beautify buildings, whilst also generating a lot of natural light when the sun filters through the coloured panels. The beauty and light work in harmony to create a poignant focal point for visitors.
The most impressive stained glass ceiling which I have personally stood beneath is the one at Printemps department store in Paris. Eating in the restaurant below the majestic Art Nouveau dome was an affecting experience, fully enhanced by the vivid light glowing through the multi-coloured glass panels.
Like the dome of Printemps, the Wintertuin dome in the Ursulines Institute in Belgium is also an enchanting illustration of Art Nouveau design. This is one of the most beautiful, understated examples of glass design, in a building which still serves as a school.
Despite the alterations in architecture, glass ceilings can still be relevant features in modern buildings. One way of incorporating a glass ceiling into design is to make the ceilings between floors out of transparent glass. The ability to see between different tiers compliments modern minimalism and is perfect for creating an illusion of greater space.