Crystal Homes: When Housing Merges With the Environment

Heike Söns

With houses made entirely of glass, designers at Santambrogio Milano have raised the concept of a "panoramic view" to a new 360-degree level.

Are you looking for a house with a view nearly impossible to match? Forget the floor to ceiling windows: they are outdated. The Italian designers of Santambrogio Milano have raised the concept of “panoramic view” to a new level of quality: 360-degree views.Glass HomesThis cutting-edge architectural firm specializes in the construction of houses made entirely of glass. In fact, the idea is so extreme that the only element of the house not made with that material—including the structural columns—is the foundation.Each home is custom designed by Santambrogio Milano and is made of the same Diamant crystal—from Saint-Gobain Glass– that was used to create the Louvre pyramid. From the very structure of the house to the stairs, bookcases and kitchen furniture, everything is manufactured with the same transparent material, and the results are spectacular sculptural pieces. Glass HomesThese peculiar spaces make one feel as if immersed in the surrounding nature. But the technology implemented in their construction is equally surprising: at the touch of a button, the glass walls can become matte and opaque to control the natural illumination inside and the level of privacy.Each design is based on the Glass House concept and is adapted according to the tastes and needs of the client. This personal attention has yielded a wide range of truly unique homes, ranging from very simple and small spaces to luxurious villas with all kinds of amenities.Glass HomesAlthough the concept may seem simple, Santambrogio Milano takes into account many details before beginning the construction of a new project. The location, for example, is one of the key factors during the creation of the floor plans and the selection of the materials. The architects are aware that designing a residence for the coast is quite different from creating a space to protect its inhabitants in icy mountain climates. The glass thickness also varies according to the climatic conditions of the terrain to ensure that the houses can trap heat inside during the cold months while staying cool in the summer.This concept is not intended for densely populated areas. However, for those who prefer and wish to have a little more privacy, Santambrogio adds other finishes like fine woods and polished stone. If you prefer, your home may include pieces of opaque or colored glass -available in various shades- to provide privacy in certain areas. Of course, specially designed curtains can be installed in each room, according to the owner’s preferences.Depending on the specifications of each design, delivery time takes from three months to a year.Related Articles:

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