San Francisco-based glass sculptor, designer, and architect Nikolas Weinstein is not completely comfortable with any of those terms. At least he said as much in a feature article in the Spring 2011 edition of the print magazine (GLASS #122). Weinstein's singular focus is to create large-scale, unorthodox glass sculptures that exist in conversation with the architectural spaces that house them. They also happen to do things you might never have imagined glass can do. Just before Christmas 2016, Weinstein and his team installed their largest and most complex sculpture yet in the lobby of a Jakarta, Indonesia office building. Weinstein had been asked by the developers of the Noble House, a premier office tower in downtown Jakarta, to design something that would set their new building apart, and the results didn't disappoint.
Apple employees will be moving their desks to the much-anticipated new headquarters, Apple Park, sometime in April, according to a company press release, even though the construction process on the Santa Clara Valley, California, facility won't be complete until fall 2017. Billed as one of the world's most energy-efficient buildings thanks to its massive rooftop solar array and a natural ventilation system that is projected to need no heat or air conditioning 9 months of the year, the massive ring-shaped central building designed by Foster + Partners also claims to have the world's largest curved glass panels, which clad the space-ship like structure in seamless sheets of silica. Over 12,000 people will eventually occupy the new complex when it's fully occupied. The main building alone will provide 2.8 million square feet of space.
Martin Blank has called the concept of "flow" the unifying theme of the last 25 years of his career as an artist, and this is readily apparent in his latest public art commission. Set to be unveiled in Spring 2017 in the small city park next to the recently opened Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown, Blank has created two working fountains in which the multiple glass elements mediate the falling water, and reference it in its cascading forms that appear like splashing water, or eddies. Contrasting with the restrained "New Classical" style of the building's architect, Robert A. M. Stern, Blank's exuberant work animates and enlivens the exterior space with its celebration of gravity and the shared fluidity of water and glass. The GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet spoke to Blank after installation was complete, but before the water would be turned back on, about the project that he calls "the hardest installation he's done in his career."
While the conversion of a former glass factory into a museum is not in itself unusual, the recently expanded MusVerre celebrates a peculiarly touching history. Beginning as a 1967 exhibition of curiosity pieces made by factory glassblowers in the 19th and early-20th centuries, the project of MusVerre reached new heights with its grand reopening in a new building designed by Raphaël Voinchet and W-Architectures earlier this month in Sars-Poteries, France. The inauguration is being celebrated with an exhibition by Ann Veronica Janssens, a Belgian artist whose “relevance, power and poetry... recurrent use of glass as a material and the very particular fit of the “wide-angle” space [of the new museum] to her work made this invitation an obvious choice,” for the museum’s curators.
Following a top-floor renovation, The U.S. Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles has just opened a unique and tourist-friendly architectural feature called "The Skyslide," an unusual way to access the expansive new observation deck on the building's 69th floor (which can also be reached by elevator). More dramatic (and somewhat silly) is to slide down from the 70th floor, enjoying the sights via a glass chute 1,018-feet above ground. The transparency of glass heightens the views from highest public vantage point in Los Angles, and the tallest building west of the Mississippi. While a ride on an empty sack down to the outdoor observation deck is not the most elegant way to get there, the glass slide is a headline-seeking way to get publicity, at which it has been quite successful. The official website of the OUE Skyspace deck and Skyslide can be found here.
Prominent Norfolk, Virginia-area philanthropists Richard and Carolyn Barry, whose names adorn the Chrysler Museum of Art's glass curator position, have just announced that their art collection will be gifted to Old Dominion University in nearby Hampton Roads, Virginia. The Barrys' collection is part of a $35-million gift to the academic institution that is earmarked for the construction of a new museum building to house their collection— which includes over 100 sculptural objects from some of the most prominent Studio Glass artists such as Dale Chihuly, Lino Tagliapietra, and Harvey Littleton.
Opening this Saturday, and on view for six months, the Royal Ontario Museum's "CHIHULY" exhibition features 11 installations by the most-famous artist working in glass. Among the works on display is the popular Persian Ceiling, which puts viewers underneath a glass-plate layered with Chihuly’s vividly colored Persian rondels. Also on view is Laguna Torcello, a vibrant, lagoon-inspired garden of glass objects. The artist has also created a new work specifically for the exhibition, Persian Trellis — an arbor adorned with Persian rondels, inviting viewers to not only walk under, but through the colorful light-gathering works.
It would take extraordinary strength to breach three sheets of glass laminated together with ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), yet high-profile structural applications, such as high-altitude footbridges in China, continue to awe the public who associate glass with fragility and a tendency to shatter. In an effort to dispell this unwarranted fear of walking on glass, a BBC reporter was invited to try to break a structural glass panel shortly before the opening of the world's highest and longest glass-bottomed bridge, which is expected to open in July 2016 in Zhangjiajie, China.
This morning, Florida State University president John Thrasher, Ringling Museum executive director Steven High, and the chair of The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art Foundation Michael Urette spoke at a morning ceremony to mark the groundbreaking of a new glass art pavilion at the Sarasota, Florida, art museum. Named in honor of donors Nancy and Philip Kotler and Margot and Warren Coville, the 5,500-square-foot addition will open in the fall of next year as an exhibition area to display objects from the museum's growing collection of American and European Studio Glass. The primary donors were present for the ceremony and reportedly used special ceremonial shovels to move sand in a symbolic launch of the construction project.
To celebrate that 10th year since its Glass Pavilion opened, the Toledo Museum of Art will survey Studio Glass with a new exhibit opening in April. "Hot Spot: Contemporary Glass from Private Collections" will be on view in the exhibition gallery of the Glass Pavilion from April 15th through September 18th, 2016, and will feature work from North American, Asian, Australian, and European artists. Since it opened in 2006, the 74,000-square-foot Glass Pavilion has housed not only glass exhibitions, but artist studios, demonstration areas, and special museum events. The new building across the street from the historic art museum was ground-breaking in its use of glass not only for exterior walls, but for interior walls as well. Designed by the Pritzker-Prize winning architecture firm of SANAA, Ltd., the unique structure was chosen for its light imprint on the park it occupies, as well as an architectural marvel that celebrates a material so connected to the institution founded in 1901 by industrial glass magnate Edward Drummond Libbey, whose Libbey corporation continues to operate in the city of Toledo.