4 Architecturally Stunning Glass Buildings

By on November 20, 2012

Architecture is an art as well as a science. Architects are truly gifted individuals who manage to plan, design and oversee the construction of buildings and structures. While it’s true that a building does not have to be fancy in order to serve its purpose—think schools, churches, hospitals, museums—some are truly architecturally stunning. Take a look at some of the most beautiful glass buildings in the world, and get ready to “Ooh” and “Aah!”

1. Louvre Pyramid

The Louvre Museum, located in Paris, France, opened in 1793 and currently contains over 20,000 pieces of art. It is one of the world’s largest museums in addition to being a historic monument. The Louvre Pyramid, a large glass and metal pyramid surrounded by three smaller pyramids, sits in the main courtyard and serves as the main entrance to the museum. Designed by famous architect I.M. Pei, the pyramid is 70-feet tall and has become a landmark of the city since its completion in 1989.

2. Sears Tower Glass Balconies

Although officially renamed the Willis Tower in 2009 after Sears’ naming rights expired, the 108-story Chicago skyscraper and tallest building in the United States is commonly referred to as the Sears Tower. Its infamous observation tower, the Skydeck, first opened in 1974 and remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Windy City. On a clear day, visitors can see across Lake Michigan into Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. In 2009, retractable glass balconies which extend four feet over the street below were added on the 103rd floor. Most definitely not for the faint of heart, these daring balconies have added a whole new dimension to the tourist experience.

3. Farnsworth House

Although not quite a household name, the Farnsworth House is quite popular with visitors to Illinois. Located just an hour south of Chicago, this steel and glass house commissioned by prominent Chicago nephrologist Dr. Edith Farnsworth sits on a 60-acre-estate. The wealthy doctor wanted a piece of modern architecture in which she could enjoy her hobbies, and she commissioned Ludwig Mies van der Roche to design and build her weekend getaway. Completed in 1951, the house was later sold to a British art collector/architecture fan in 1972 and purchased again by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Landmarks Illinois in 2003. It is now a museum.

4. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Missouri may not be the first state that comes to mind when thinking of “modern” places, but the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City’s new Bloch Building was ranked by Time magazine as one of the “10 Best (New and Upcoming) Architectural Marvels” in 2007. Located on the property of the Kansas City Star publisher William Rockhill Nelson, the Nelson-Atkins Museum first opened in December 1933. Its classical style was modeled after the Cleveland Museum of Art, and architect Steven Holl was selected to design the museum’s more modern addition, which is comprised of custom-made glass planks. Admission to the museum is free, giving people the opportunity to see architectural glass art as well as more traditional paintings, photography, and sculptures.

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Chris Turberville-Tully works with Vitrine Systems which provides glazing maintenance solutions for all commercial applications, from glazed balustrades, to curtain walling, cladding, or roof glazing.

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