Emerging architecture and research practice Space Popular has unveiled its UK debut, The Glass Chain, a unique installation for Sto Werkstatt’s gallery space in Clerkenwell that explores an alternative future for glass in architecture, inspired by the legacy of The Glass Chain.

The title “The Glass Chain” is a reference to the infamous exchange of letters by a group of German architects from 1919-1920 initiated by Bruno Taut, fantasising about the myriad of possibilities of this incredible material. Imagining fluid and organic glass follies and colourful crystal cathedrals covering entire mountain chains and even reaching into space, the letters explore a vision of glass that was never realised.

These early days of modernism took a different turn: glass became a peripheral material of windows and walls; whilst Taut instead believed that all architecture and even furniture could be made of glass and the material itself could have qualities to be mediated.

Sto Werkstatt’s brief asked Space Popular to work with StoVentec Glass to redefine the limitations of the material and imagine its bright, colourful, and energising possibilities – encouraging us to visualise a new purpose for glass in building design.

Almost one hundred years after Taut’s vision, Space Popular has taken up the mantle to wrestle glass from its modernist confines and set it free to enjoy bold colour, complex forms and new meanings. The installation, which runs until 29 September, explores different ranges of scale, playing with our visual perception of glass doorways as grand arches and small steps as giant pediments.

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Author: Jim Biddulph

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