Glass in private housing – 5 amazing everyday applications

Nothing reflects the contemporary lifestyle and architectural trends in modern buildings better than fabulous glass applications. Glass is timelessly elegant as a building material – I cannot describe the beauty of glass in any other way. It also allows us to create bold and bright solutions for beautiful home design.

In this blog article, I will list five breathtaking, eccentric or sophisticated glass design ideas that are available for modern and brave homebuilders.

1. External glass walls

One important architectural trendsetter for modern residential glass building is the Glass House in Connecticut, USA. Designer, Philip Johnson, designed this famous building as his weekend residence. And it saw the day of light in 1949.

What sets this building apart from the rest is the fact that its exterior walls are sheet after sheet of glass, and there are no interior walls inside the building.

The Glass HousePhilip Johnson Glass House | Photo: Mark B. Schlemmer via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0

In 1997, the Glass House was officially recognized as a National Historic Landmark. National Trust for Historic Preservation later bought the premise and opened it to the public for guided tours.

I don’t expect the gigantic exterior glass walls, as featured in the Philip Johnson Glass House, to become hugely popular nor accepted by traditional homebuilders. That said, there are always those few who are courageous enough to live with non-existent privacy.

2. Outdoor glass sauna

For us Finns, there are a few things that are dear to our hearts. One is the sauna. The traditional Finnish sauna is a small, dimly lit room with wooden panels covering the walls and roof. Some saunas may, if the owner is daring, have a glass door. But traditionally, the sauna stays relatively dark.
Therefore, the idea of an outdoor sauna made of GLASS might sting a bit. To me, as a traditional Finn, the idea first sounded outrageous. It made me think how in the world can we combine the transparency and privacy with a glass box?

To be honest, I had serious concerns whether the modern glass design would destroy the authentic sauna feeling that traditionally requires wooden elements and a large extent of darkness.

This summer, however, I had the chance to test a brand new glass sauna. For me, it was the first outdoor glass sauna. The round steel construction covered with glass offered a great view of a beautiful Finnish lake.
With the help of modern bending techniques, bent insulated glass often finds its way to the walls, whereas curved laminated glass decorates the roof.

glass sauna 1Glass sauna 2

Images: Anna Holmqvist – Glaston

I hope that the photos make a strong case to prove that the use of glass does NOT kill the original sauna atmosphere at all. The transparency instead magnifies the feeling of magical interaction between human and nature. I can hardly imagine a more relaxing way of enjoying the beautiful forest and lake views than sitting naked in the futuristic glass sauna!

I look forward to visiting the unique glass sauna also during the cold winter when ice and snow will cover it.

Read more from the Official Travel Site of Finland: 10 sauna tips for beginners

3. Glass floors

Both the famous Tower Bridge in London and the legendary Eiffel Tower in Paris had a new feature installed at the end of 2014. Of course, I refer to the glass floors.
I believe that transparent glass tiles can be one future trend that will find its way into urban design, including flats and residential houses. I adore the modern Scandinavian design. And therefore, it is no surprise that I found the most beautiful glass floor in an apartment in Stockholm, Sweden.

Glass floor application 1Glass floor application 2Photos from

The 103-square-meter apartment is divided into two levels. Half of the floor upstairs boasts a beautifully crafted clear glass floor that optimizes the natural lighting in the flat.

The stairs with glass railings further strengthen the luxurious feeling, as the whole staircase appears to be floating in the center of the apartment.

Just beautiful!

4. Interior room separators and switchable glass technology

Internal walls made of glass are a super smart solution for room separators, especially when space is limited.

I also found another cozy apartment in Stockholm where clear glass acts as an internal wall. The extremely elegant room divider separates the sleeping area from the rest of the open flat in a very stylish way.

glass room dividerPhoto from

Glass is still a rare material used for internal walls in residential buildings. However, such walls make perfect room dividers as they maintain a superior openness.

As a small reminder, even though glass is transparent, it still manages to give little bit of extra privacy and feeling of division between the open areas.

For example, glass walls between the master bedrooms and bathrooms are becoming hugely popular. Many contemporary hotels already use glass as dividing structures. And, ultimately, encapsulating the bathroom inside a glass box gives the bedroom a modern and functional look, also in private housing.

When designing transparent internal glass walls, the purpose of such walls is to enable the option of privacy whenever wanted. Therefore, I feel confident saying that the latest switchable smart glass applications will be the next big thing, for example, in offices and residential buildings.

5. Fireplace with glass sides

My last example of modern glass design combines heat and glass. The fireplace comes with three or four side walls. Glass plays a central role since it makes the fire visible from any direction.

A fireplace with such a glass feature can be used as an eye-catching space divider, for example, between the kitchen and the living room.

Spartherm 3 side glass in fireplace      Modern three-sided fireplace| Photo copyright: Spartherm

These examples illustrate the trends of the future home design. My goal is to showcase that glass is stylish, beautiful, and extremely versatile.

If you ask me, the glass is one of the best materials to create unique, spectacular, and contemporary housing designs that highlight spaciousness and trendy modernity.

– Anna Holmqvist

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About the author

Anna Holmqvist

Anna works in project management and handles customer solutions and new machine deliveries from the Tampere factory to customers around the world. She is convinced that Glaston’s high level of customer service comes from a personal touch and loads of communication over the entire lifecycle of the machine. According to Anna, the best moments at work come when existing customers return to Glaston for new equipment or to modernize their existing lines – or when she has the opportunity as a female engineer to work with other women in companies she serves. She lives in Tampere, Finland, but never forgets to mention that she was born in Sweden – the start to her world citizenship at an early stage.