Despite installing glass artworks in buildings for over thirty years, I have done relatively few projects in private homes.
Much of the art we create is designed to be viewed in quite a transient way. For example, reception features that you walk by in an airport, park, office building or shopping centre. These are experienced briefly. They are required to be bold and dynamic.
A residential feature, on the other hand, is a permanent part of a domestic environment. For this, you need something that feels so right you do not question why it is there, or perhaps even notice it is there. It just is – a beautiful, discrete but somehow essential part of the space you live in.
Some years ago, we were asked to create a window that was 1.8m wide and 5m tall. It had to be completely opaque to ensure the occupant and his neighbour would have some privacy – their respective windows being only 30 centimetres apart. At the same time, it had to be translucent, allowing a diffused light into the house. This tall, thin window starts in the kitchen and goes up to the ceiling of the floor above.
When it was complete, I felt we had achieved an artwork that was calm and warm. It was unobtrusive and yet a feature that created an atmosphere in the house. It would be enjoyed for many years. The client was kind enough to say; “This is the centrepiece of our house – the most important thing here.”