Page N4.1 . 25 June 2003                     
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    Solutia Glass Awards 2003

    by ArchitectureWeek

    In Nagoya, Japan, concertgoers visiting the new Oasis 21 will be treated to a unique outdoor ceiling. Not only is the roof above them made of glass, it is also filled with water, further refracting the light received in the public spaces below. This civic structure by architect Hideki Casai of the Obayashi Corporation is one of several recent winners of the 2003 Solutia Design Awards.

    Solutia produces performance films for laminated safety glass and holds an annual competition to honor projects that demonstrate creative applications of their products.

    In Oasis 21, the architects created an elevated lake surrounded by a glass walkway. Visitors to the public space move from dense urban surroundings into an unexpected serenity expressed in sound and light. The Solutia jury gave the architectural team high marks for using glass to achieve extraordinary strength and resistance to slipping, chemicals, and earthquakes while using two transparent materials ? glass and water ? to create an experience that is "both evocative and arresting."

    In the residential category, the jury selected the "Garden Room In Glass" in Vienna by Architekturstudio Bulant & Wailzer. Albeit at a smaller scale than the elevated lake, this room also demonstrates the structural capabilities of laminated glass. In Austria, silicon-glued glass construction is not permitted without mechanical safety measures. The architects defied the norms by creating a new technique using adhesive connections between the supporting glass beams and columns instead of screwed metal plates.

    This first Austrian example of glued-only construction is expected to become a catalyst for further exploration of the structural properties of laminated glass. The jury also appreciated the integration of the glass cube with the garden beyond. The owner says: "...the autumn rain and snowstorms are here transformed from nuisance to a poetic setting."

    The selected project in the interiors category is "Glass Store" in Sao Paulo, Brazil by architect Brunete Fraccaroli. She used glass and steel in colorful combinations in a showroom that is used by architects and designers to explore with their clients the possibilities of glass in doors, skylights, furniture, floors, bathrooms, and other elements.

    In the institutional category, architects Davis Brody Bond won an award for their addition to the New York Public Library. Their South Court Building integrates a new infill structure within the existing courtyard of the historic library.

    The architects used laminated glass to admit abundant daylight from above and to delicately complement the existing structure. Below a skylight, a glass staircase descends to below grade. The upper floors cantilever from four columns with glass guardrails along the perimeter, adding to the feeling of transparency.

    The jury appreciated the juxtaposition of modern glass with the old library's historic stone. They commented: "The attention to detail in design has been well executed, and the architects used admirable restraint to achieve an understated elegance."

    The Solutia jury included Brian Carter of the School of Architecture and Planning at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York; John Durbrow of Murphy Jahn; Kiku Obata of Kiku Obata & Company; and Anthony Harrington of Brower Architects.

    Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...


    ArchWeek Image

    Oasis 21, in Nagoya, Japan, is a water-filled glass structure, sheltering exhibits and concerts below. The project was given a 2003 Solutia Design Award.
    Photo: Hideki Casai

    ArchWeek Image

    Detail of the Oasis 21 "lake" designed by Hideki Casai of the Obayashi Corporation.
    Photo: Hideki Casai

    ArchWeek Image

    The "Garden Room In Glass" in Vienna by Architekturstudio Bulant & Wailzer.
    Photo: Ruper Steiner, Theobaldgasse

    ArchWeek Image

    The colorful "Glass Store" in Sao Paulo, Brazil by architect Brunete Fraccaroli won a 2003 Solutia Design Award for interior.
    Photo: Julio Menezes

    ArchWeek Image

    The addition to the New York Public Library by Davis Brody Bond.
    Photo: Peter Aaron/ Esto


    Click on thumbnail images
    to view full-size pictures.

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