Modern residential architecture has fully sided with the aesthetic of spacious, united interiors. No longer a trend, the free-flowing residential space is what buyers and renters are looking for, and architects and developers are responding by creating inventive homes with fewer walls and larger multifunctional rooms.
One of the stars of this modern movement is glass. Used as both external and interior walls, dividers and even structural elements, glass in residential design has come a long way. By harnessing the technology available in glass today, architects can provide the spaciousness people want with the practicality a busy home requires, especially in smaller spaces like apartments.
Specifically, switchable smart glass technology enables contemporary design with built-in usability that can adapt spaces to users’ needs at the flick of a switch. Here are five key offerings of switchable smart glass in apartment design.
1. Wide Open Views
Traditional residential architecture can seem entirely focused on function, with windows being little more than a source of light and air. Today urban dwellings, especially taller apartment buildings, can offer spectacular views through panoramic windows and even floor-to-ceiling glass walls. With switchable smart glass, residents can control the glass opacity for passersby while still enjoying their breathtaking views.
2. Spacious Spaces
Today’s most sought-after apartments boast large multifunctional rooms and fluid transitions between spaces. Smart glass helps facilitate this by enabling architects to replace certain elements that would ordinarily divide apartments or block views with glass walls, dividers and even staircases.
A smart glass wall around a home office can maintain the sense of openness within an apartment while letting the user turn the wall opaque when needed for privacy or to minimise distraction.
A bedroom set up at one end of an apartment can appear to be part of the larger space when a smart glass wall is transparent, or become a cozy sleeping space when the wall is opaque. Residential smart glass can help an apartment feel spacious and also let more light into areas further away from windows.
3. Privacy on Demand
Switchable smart glass enables large windows or entire exterior walls to be transparent or opaque, based on the users’ preferences throughout the day. A simple flick of a switch controls the opacity, without necessarily dampening the light coming into a space.
When used internally as diving walls, this functionality preserves the sense of one larger, connected space while providing privacy when needed. For example, by enclosing a bathroom in smart glass walls, as in the Brew House Hotel, the space remains connected to the larger room until a guest switches the glass opacity for privacy.
4. Superior Sun Protection
Floor-to-ceiling glass windows and doors are becoming more and more popular—as is sun protection and heat control, especially in countries where high temperatures are frequent and UV exposure can be an issue. Solar smart glass offers unmatched control of solar glare and is proven to reduce the transfer of heat, which protects residents from UV exposure and can substantially reduce energy costs.
Switchable smart glass windows are a smart choice for individual apartments as well as apartment building lobbies and shared spaces because they allow users to maximise sunlight when it’s needed and control solar shading during peak sun.
5. Nature as Décor
Particularly in urban areas and apartment complexes, there is a recent focus on inviting nature into residential spaces. Switchable smart glass can be used in strategically placed windows and glass doors to showcase natural elements and help residents connect with their surroundings.
Balcony railings—and even the balcony itself—can be made of smart glass to remove the perception of division between residents and nature. At any time, residents can choose to switch the glass opacity for privacy, protection or comfort.
Switchable smart glass is helping innovative architects and designers transform urban apartments into residential refuges that don’t have to sacrifice views, space or privacy. For more information about smart glass technology, switchable smart glass or residential smart glass, view our range of solutions online or read about our past projects.