A Pox On Your Glass Bricks

Is there a building anywhere in Perth (or even the world) that has been improved by the addition of glass bricks? Is there a building in Perth with glass bricks that doesn’t look a little like a public toilet? What can be said of this recently completed extension in Bedford? Ai Ya! If anyone can find an example of a good looking building with glass bricks, send it to me. The only one I have ever seen where they work well is an old lighthouse.

glass bricks

About The Lazy Aussie

Commended Haiku writer. A lover of The West's Worst. Perth stand-up comedian, photographer and writer.
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29 Responses to A Pox On Your Glass Bricks

  1. meccano101 says:

    L.A I have been trying to find a pic of the old ACI glass factory on South Dowling st Sydney before it was redeveloped. It was a stunning building circa 1930 [i think] and used glass bricks to great effect. I think I worked because of the sheer volume of bricks used, but otherwise I agree they generally look terrible.


  2. Rage says:

    Glass bricks!

    My number one design enemy. Followed shortly by fake shutters.
    With every glass brick I see, a small piece of me dies.


  3. La Plaza Bentley says:

    Meccano the south dowling street one has survived the wrecker’s ball I think and is now a public storage space (?)…there’s a building on Cleveland that’s got a similar use of glass bricks. Yeah, done well in that era they’re not bad.


  4. lisa says:

    I never thought i’d go to any trouble to defend something like glass bricks, but here goes.

    My 1980’s townhouse has a small square window of 6 glass bricks in a southwest facing wall that gets full sun most of the day. I can’t say i ever look at it from the outside, but on the inside (which is all that counts, as any supermodel will tell you!) it’s actually very nice. It lets light in without any heat, and with flowers on the sill the effect is very pretty, if I say so myself.

    There’s something wrong with that Bedford one though. The proportions, the colour of the glass bricks, the colour of the brick bricks, the shape of the roof…. is it possible that it looks beautiful from the inside…. ?

    Having defended glass bricks selectively, I have to add that am quite fond of them for nostalgic reasons. Something about them epitomises the decor and lighting in certain 80’s and 90’s yuppie trash movies like St Elmo’s Fire, Bruce Willis stinker ‘Jade’, Fatal Attraction, things like that.


  5. lisa says:

    This is the kind of thing from the movies… There’s something fantastically claustrophobic and airless about them perfect for a movie set….


  6. lazyaussie says:

    I was going to go on about the worse (or dentist office) choice of curved glass brick. Thanks for reminding me L.


  7. meccano101 says:

    Glad to hear the aci place survived, its a great building. I always imagined [like lisa] how nice it would be on the inside for the workers. They remind me of the Mike Walsh set from the 80’s.
    A friend told me that they are stronger then standard bricks. If so. I would love to see a roman style arched bridge made out of them or something. That would be impressive. I’m sure the chinese could do something amazing with them for the olympics.


  8. lazyaussie says:

    The windows of the Augusta lighthouse are made with some beautiful ones, but strength surely is not the issue with this house, or any other of the places i’ve seen. I suppose you have to ask, just how would it be better than having a window.


  9. Tom says:

    Agreed. This is a horrible use of glass brick blocks.
    Did come across a very nice building in Japan… http://www.galinsky.com/buildings/hermes/index.htm


  10. lazyaussie says:

    These are both quite interesting Tom and Sean


  11. CK says:

    I do like that sean. Where is it?


  12. sean says:

    That’s in belgium, was detailed quite thoroughly in a german architecture magazine appropriately called Detail…as the link suggests.

    Also check out the maison de verre



  13. meccano101 says:

    Tom – Nice, I like those also, particularly the interior shot.


  14. Rage says:

    So, the answer is: move to France. Everyone. That way we can have glass bricks that are used enhance style, rather than look like some grotesque… thing.

    I’m sorry. I still hate them. When they’re used and look great, like in Maison de Verre, it’s just like girls that manage to wear a backless ruched satin ball gown and make it work. Sure, you look fine, but if you picked a less hideous fabric, you would have looked amazing.

    I have issues.


  15. lazyaussie says:

    it is pretty damn good that place, but it does make the usual uses look even worse.


  16. lazyaussie says:

    Do they have any asbestos to sweeten the deal?


  17. meccano101 says:

    should get a bid in soon or you’ll miss out


  18. lisa says:

    I think it looks nice as a standalone garden ornament.


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  20. The Legend 101 says:

    whats rong with that, WOW 2007 this post is old.


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  22. At the time it would of been stylish, like most ugly houses in the 30s 60s onwards. It’s a low budget house. Making fun only works at rich homes where the people had a choice of other homes, or built it themselves. It’s rude to make fun of people who can’t afford better. how many of you can say your house is beautiful? Very few. Both my houses are gorgeous and my artistic parents had taste and design degrees, phew! So we have always had beautiful homes in fremantle (like the old victorian houses near the monument facing hampton rd) So i got lucky, but most people dont have that even when they have money. I would never put down a poor person struggling to get by. To do so is even uglier than the homes you post.


  23. Janet Cecily Gunn says:

    It would have looked far better if they had replaced the smaller window with a third panel of glass blocks….then the assymetrical shape of the wall from the two different slopes of the roof would have been far less obvious….


  24. Snuff says:

    Maison Hermès in Ginza looks interesting at night, but awful in daylight.


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