The effect on overusage of glass on cities

Over the weekend I saw a fascinating TED talk about the usage of glass in modern cities.

Justing Davidson elaborates what he thinks is the effect of glass as a main fassade building material used in urban areas nowadays. He points out that other materials, from stone, brick walls, up to copper have strong advantages in creating a city worth living in:

  • Buildings are transforming over time (due to weather, usage) rather then just having glass being replaced
  • Fassades have texture rather then mirrors, reflecting cultural ornament, contemporary cultural artifacts and history
  • They are much diverser then anything achievable with glass

You can see the full TED Talk under this link.

I think this food for thought emphasizes again the need for diversity, especially in large building projects for new cities or new urban or sub-urban centers. In the Zurich city center, we have with the Europaallee a very bad example where it was not possible to combine modern architecture with interesting and inspiring fassades. It has the expression and spurs a creativity of a city envisioned in Huxley’s Brave New World.



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