Posted on 10/25/2012 7:29 AM by Grace Jeffers

Mies van der Rohe wrote:

"We must remember that everything depends on how we use a material, not on the material itself... New materials are not necessarily superior. Each material is only what we make of it..."

To van der Rohe, glass was one of the most appropriate materials for architecture and as we know glass is not a "new material." Yet it can be made to look new to us. We reached out to Bendheim Architectural Glass to see what they are doing to innovate the product. The following are three current trends which they have matched with new products.

Trend 1: Bright Colors Inject Optimism, Energy into Spaces 

Vivid colors have marked 2012 in the world of interior design and architecture. According to Bendheim, the demand has increased dramatically for materials making bold design statements and adding a sense of optimism and confidence into spaces. This is seen in recent Pantone opulent colors of the year: a vivacious Honeysuckle Pink defied economic worries last year, and Tangerine Tango added a much-needed energy boost in 2012. The leaders in the decorative glass industry responded by adding ever more variety to their palettes, introducing new bold and whimsical hues.

Bendheim introduced a Jelly Bean Collection of 14 bright colors.

Jelly Bean Tangerine Color

Trend 2: Merging Styles, Past and Present         

To achieve a bold, modern look, designers are flashing back to the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s to seek inspiration and reinterpret iconic postmodern designs and trends. Retro décor can create a singular expression of style and fashion, incorporating the use of bright color and perhaps even glossy, shiny, and mirrored effects reminiscent of a room-dazzling disco ball.  Consider the popular use of mirrored glass in interior spaces today, with hues ranging from the more traditional silver titanium to a dazzling luminous hot pink.

Trend 3: Transparent in Every Sense of the Word


Glass’s inherent quality of transparency is always in vogue. In addition to offering the benefits of daylighting, transparent glass partitions, enclosures and curtain walls can inspire a sense of openness and accountability that extends to the organization inhabiting the space. The idea of inspiring a sense of responsibility and sociability through the use of glass in architecture is especially relevant today as businesses and organizations strive to be transparent and want the workplace to reflect their values.

Bendheim’s EcoGlass

Broadcast Music, Inc.’s offices by Daniel G. Failla Architects feature Bendheim’s Pyramid EcoGlass.
Photo by Roger Kriegel.