Architectural Glass Fantasies: Ghostly Illumination & Glass Mountain, 2013
A revival of a specific architectural glass fantasy based on a series of visions by the
German writer Paul Scheerbart (1863-1915) and the German architect Bruno Taut (1880-1938).
The works in the series Architectural Glass Fantasies are attempts to give physical form to their written thoughts about glass architecture and the potential colossal impact on society this could have.
The Crystal Chain – was a correspondence between a small group of likeminded architects and artists instigated by Bruno Taut in 1919-20 following the first world war to discuss how architecture of the future could be shaped. It was essentially an artistic enterprise, as they did not intend for anything that they proposed to be built, nor did they intend to solve material structural problems, but simply use their skills as thinkers to describe an impossible world as a philosophical exercise.
Through series of secretly kept, imaginative letters and dreamy drawings, they envisioned an ideal society, a non-authoritarian, new, modernist world built entirely out of colored glass and steel as gigantic crystalline constructions providing kaleidoscopic effects on the mountain tops of Europe.
This world made entirely out of glass was not, however, fully transparent, but translucent, colorful and constantly changing. It was a softly glowing glass fantasy, a “ghostly illumination”, and thus, not creating an illusion of complete transparency, so central to the myth of capitalism and the glass architecture we know from the urban cityscapes of today.
Drawings by Bruno Taut from the book Alpine Architecture: A Utopia