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Glass wall systems in office architecture. Open space or open mind?

01 of November '20

Glass offices - Glass System technology.
From the series "Modern office buildings - trends 2020".


With the development of building product technology, previously inaccessible opportunities are opening up for architects. What was not possible until recently, today, thanks to innovative solutions, is becoming a standard. It is no different in the case of the use of glass for the arrangement and division of office space.

Open space - office utopia or relic?

Until a dozen years ago, the typical Polish office was divided into relatively small offices of a few people. With the appearance on the market of hundreds of thousands of square meters of space in newly constructed modern buildings, the era of so-called open space has arrived. This impressive space management formula, which guarantees unlimited access to daylight, flexibility and the possibility of optimal use of space, has gained enormous popularity. Among other things, its proponents emphasize that such conditions facilitate relationship building and the flow of ideas between members of multi-person teams.

One can appreciate this type of office, but undoubtedly, they have at least as many disadvantages as advantages. Large, open, people-filled spaces make it significantly more difficult to focus, reducing employee efficiency. They also give rise to real risks associated with unwanted access to sensitive information.

Horizon, studio projektowe: Workplace © GLASS SYSTEM

Horizon, a design studio: Workplace

© GLASS SYSTEM

Glass walls - intelligent design and zoning of space

"Open mind" instead of open space

For the past few years, there has been a growing trend away from open space to intelligently designed offices, divided into zones with different functions. In recent months, another aspect has come into play that may accelerate the above trends. This is because the pandemic has raised awareness of the dangers of the uncontrolled spread of bacteria and viruses fostered by the lack of room division.

Biuro Glass System © GLASS SYSTEM

Glass System office

© GLASS SYSTEM

Technology in the service of architects

The changes taking place are made possible by the development of products such as high-tech glass walls. They allow investors and architects to preserve the striking, open character of an area, which guarantees access to daylight, while improving its functional layout. Until recently, their use was limited by stringent legal requirements for sound insulation and fire resistance. Aesthetics were also a barrier - the clumsy appearance of the products did not fit in with modern interior designs.

Biuro Upper Finance Group © GLASS SYSTEM

Upper Finance Group office

© GLASS SYSTEM

Theglass wall systems available on the market today make it possible to use them anywhere in the office, remaining in compliance with current regulations. Already single-glazed constructions, thanks to refined profile technology, allow to separate soundproofed offices, guaranteeing increased work comfort, leading to increased efficiency and creativity. Wherever it is necessary to be able to conduct confidential conversations, especially in the so-called director's offices or conference rooms, double-glazed walls with high acoustic insulation are used, offering parameters in this regard comparable to traditional walls.

GSW Office Plus Grid -szpros wewnętrzny - model narożnika ściany © GLASS SYSTEM

GSW Office Plus FR - a fireproof system with acoustic insulation of Rw 47-53 dB

© GLASS SYSTEM

Fire and sound under control

Fire requirements are also not a limitation for the use of glass walls in offices. Single- and double-glazed systems of EI30 class, typical for office investments in Poland, are already available. Maintaining fire safety does not mean giving up acoustic insulation. Glass fire systems guarantee no worse acoustic performance than walls without fire protection properties.

Designer construction element

It is worth noting that modern glass walls are also unconventional design - innovative systems offer high soundproofing and fire safety, while maintaining a truly minimalist appearance, so they do not get in the way of architects implementing ambitious projects.

Maciej NIŹIŃSKI

R&D Manager, Glass System

For more information, visit the company's {tag:Manufacturer} page on the A&B portal.

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