Architecture with Nothing to Hide: 13 Glass Box Buildings

Glass Cube Lake House
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Canadian studio GH3 places a glass cube at the edge of Ontario’s Stoney Lake, set atop an opaque boathouse. Translucent panels can be pulled over the glass of this photographer’s studio to enhance privacy.

Casa Golf
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Concrete and glass set off each other’s most notable qualities as they come together in Casa Golf by Argentinean architect Luciano Kruk. Located near Buenos Aires and looking out onto a golf course, the home is oriented to take in only the most beautiful views, its windows mostly facing the front and rear rather than the sides.

House in Rokko
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From far away, it probably looks like a modest prefab home is elevated on stilts at the edge of a Kobe hillside in southern Japan. Tato Architects placed a metal barn on top of a glass box for ‘House in Rokko,’ the second-floor wrap-around balcony creating an overhang that shades the very transparent bottom floor. As open as that level may be, it’s actually not visible to any other houses on the hillside, or from below.

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth by Tadao Ando
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Five flat-roofed glass rectangles rise from a reflecting pool at the Modern Museum of Fort Worth by architect Tadao Ando, creating a glittering tableau of simple materials and clean, unfussy lines. The museum itself is presented as a work of modern art, with its concrete roofs supported by massive Y-shaped pillars. Says Ando, “By using glass as a wall, physically there is a barrier, protection from the outside, but visually there is no boundary between outside and inside. There is also the light that comes off the water through the glass that indicates a lack of boundary and can make its presence felt on the wall.”