Glass In Architecture
Michael Wigginton


Palace In Nepal

©Michael Wigginton

I'm going to talk to you about glass in architecture which has fascinated me ever since-.I started to study architecture. The first slide is not of glass but of a palace in Kathmandu. In Kathmandu, which is in the Himalayas with a very hostile climate a lot of the year, glass was not available until comparatively recently. And this palace demonstrates the hard work that had to be carried out in order to obtain the view and privacy and climatic protection. Glass was discovered in the Middle East about 4,000 years ago. It was discovered probably, almost certainly, as a result of the early makers of pots finding that the hot charcoal actually melted the sand upon which the kilns were erected. By the time glassware had got to Egypt, it was actually being used to make extremely beautiful objects or glass equivalents of pots. It has to be said the Romans did invent glass panes and they used them for small conservatories, so that the emperors and other patrician people of the Roman Empire could grow vegetables out of season. But it wasn't used generally for glazing until the manufacturers of glass; the original glass makers were brought from the Middle East up into Europe into a climate that was extremely alien to them, and which eventually generated the glories of Gothic.


Medieval Castle

©Michael Wigginton

Before glass actually got to Europe, the sort of architecture which Europeans were used to was an architecture with small holes. Heavy walls and small holes characterised, for example, this magnificent medieval castle where the walls were termed 'curtain walls' by historians.

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