Design Awards: The Glass Fortress, by Archismith in Bangkok
Enclosed by 20,000 bricks, Bangkok architecture studio Archismith, has created a sales office of a different nature. A distinct 'Glass Fortress' providing a visual break and a connection with nature in the heart a busy, urban city.

As we continue our look at some of the shortlisted architectural projects for the 2019 Dezeen Awards, we'll be looking at The Glass Fortress; a sales office of a different nature.

Enclosed by 20,000 glass bricks, are the sales offices and secret gardens of a Residential development in Bangkok. The facade changes its look continuously according to the condition of sunlight and the shifting shadows of trees. At night, the glass blocks are illuminated turning them into a giant glass lantern.

Designed to be largely disconnected from its surroundings (a rival developer’s sales gallery is nearby), leaving a physical, distance barrier was not an option for functional reasons so the design team decided to angle the building’s orientation away from the main road to create distinction. Aside from achieving the main purpose, the solution provides not only a visual break on a dense urban fabric but also a connection with nature. The glass façade allows for natural light to flood the inside of the building, and behind the glass brick walls is a secret garden with a winding path. These elements combine to give a feeling of “living with nature” whilst minimising claustrophobiia says the co-founder of Archismith, Jirawit Yamkleeb.

Unlike most conventional types, the glass blocks used for this project are rectangular rather than square shaped, with extended edges to cover the majority of grouting. This special feature creates a continuous all glass effect to the walls, reducing the visual perception of joints.

The glass-brick walls continue inside the main building, where they house the next section of the building: the show apartments. A peaceful yet luxurious seating area has a twofold purpose; acting as a model of the new apartments and as offices for the employees there. 

But what does the future hold? Although the glass construction is built on rented land, there is an agreement in place to leave it when the land is returned. Maybe we’ll next see it as a café, an Airbnb- it already has two bedrooms with bathrooms, or even a light-enveloped museum.

Through innovative design, advanced technology and careful choice of materials, this glass fortress hosts a truly magnificent eco community in the heart of a busy, chaotic city.

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