Glass is rarely crystal clear but is blurred both materially and metaphysically, revealing complex readings of ideas for which glass continues to stand. Blurred Transparencies in Contemporary Glass Architecture written by Aki Ishida is a collection of close observations of six pivotal works of architecture. Written from the perspectives of a practitioner, the six essays challenge assumptions about fragility and visual transparency of glass.
As a material imbued with idealism and utopic vision, glass has captured architects’ imagination, and glass’s fragility and difficulties in thermal control continue to present technical challenges. In recent decades, technological advancements in chemical coating, structural engineering, and fabrication methods have resulted in new kinds of glass transparencies. This book looks at such buildings as a sanatorium with expansive windows delivering light and air to recovering tuberculosis patients, a pavilion with a crystal clear glass plenum circulating air for heating and cooling, a glass monument symbolizing the screen of personal devices that shortened the distance between machines and humans, and a glass building that is an emblem of the social and material intertwining in the glass ceiling metaphor.