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Vertical Glass House by Atelier FCJZ has glass floors


Located in Longteng Avenue, Xuhui, Shanghai, China, Vertical Glass House by Beijing-based architectural practice Atelier FCJZ, allows residents to look down from a dining table into a toilet inside this windowless concrete house.

Yung Ho Chang of the Beijing-based firm originally designed the Vertical Glass House as an urban housing prototype for a competition in 1991. Twenty-two years later, the firm was able to use the design project as part of the West Bund Biennale of Architecture and Contemporary Art.


According to the architects: “Vertical Glass House is a urban housing prototype and discusses the notion of transparency in verticality while serving as a critic of Modernist transparency in horizontality or a glass house that always opens to landscape and provides no privacy. While turning the classic glass house 90 degrees, Vertical Glass House is on one hand spiritual: With enclosed walls and transparent floors as well as roof, the house opens to the sky and the earth, positions the inhabitant right in the middle, and creates a place for meditation. On the other hand, Vertical Glass House is material: Vertical transparency visually connects all the utilities,ductworks, furniture pieces on different levels, as well as the staircase, into a system of domesticity and provides another reading of the modern theory of ‘architecture as living machine’.


“The structure erected in Shanghai in 2013 was closely based on the 22-years old design scheme by Chang and developed by the Atelier FCJZ. With a footprint of less than 40 square meters (430 square feet), the four-storey residence is enclosed with solid concrete walls leaving little visual connection to its immediate surrounding. The walls were cast in rough wooden formwork on the exterior and smooth boards on the interior to give a contrast in texture in surface from the inside out. Within the concrete enclosure, a singular steel post is at the center with steel beams divide the space in quarters and frame each domestic activity along with the concrete walls. All the floor slabs for the Vertical Glass House, which consists of 7cm (3in) thick composite tempered glass slabs, cantilevers beyond the concrete shell through the horizontal slivers on the façade. The perimeter of each glass slab is lit from within the house; therefore, light transmits through the glass at night to give a sense of mystic for the pedestrians passing by.

All the furniture were designed specifically for the rooms inside the Vertical Glass House to be true to the original design concept and keep a cohere appearance with its structures and stairs. Air conditioning was added to the House.”

Images courtesy of Atelier FCJZ

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April 29, 2014 | Property | View comments

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