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Cascades of color: The newest trend in architecture

Colors story


In recent years, colored glass trends have evolved from colors simulating relatively neutral earth tones into much brighter, more vibrant jeweled tones. Historically, colors have been used in uniformly colored facades or as single or multiple bands of accent colors for spandrel glazing. Colors became more prominent as the variety of choices and visible light transmittance increased through the use of interlayers in laminated glass.

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Opportunities for the design

Since color is brought into the glass configuration by the interlayer, there is no longer a need to increase glass thickness to get more saturated color. The potentially lighter-weight configurations have created more viable options for designers and glazing contractors in vision panels. This has made the design of systems less cumbersome because the overall glazing package remains the same throughout the structure.


Global trends

Eastman is seeing a current trend in the use of a common hue varying in saturation as it cascades either up or down the building—or even from side to side. These cascades of color can stay within a single color family, or they can begin with one color morphing through intermediates to end in a completely different hue. Colored glass is being used to tell a story or convey a special meaning through the migration. This type of color transition is used in curtain walls, bridges, skylights, balustrades, and throughout many interior applications.

Another color design trend is the use of translucent colors in add-on forms such as fins, sunshades, and canopy constructions. One aspect that makes colored glass desirable is the dynamic nature of the light that is transmitted through the glazing as the day progresses. The use and play of colored light patches within a space can change the perception of the space—whether it’s just a simple triangle dancing on a warm, rich oak floor like a ballerina or brilliant green, ruby, or blue squares aligning themselves like a hopscotch board on cool grey concrete to provide a sense of adventure to an entrance.


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