Ten interiors that use glass block walls to play with light and shadow


As glass bricks experience a new renaissance, our latest lookbook features ten projects that show how glazed masonry can brighten up any interior, even bathrooms and cramped hallways.

Originally invented and popularized in the 1930s, as evidenced by Pierre Chareau’s Maison de Verre and Norwegian architect Arne Korsmo’s Villa Stenersen, glass blocks went out of fashion over the following decades.

The hollow bricks, which reveal and obscure at the same time, were appreciated by Japanese architect Tadao Ando, ​​who used them to form the interior courtyard of his Ichihara house and the facade of the Horiuchi house, both designed in 1979.

After they largely fell out of favor following their 1980s heyday, we’ve rounded up a number of recent interior projects for this lookbook that have resurrected the trend.

This is the latest roundup in our Dezeen Lookbooks series offering visual inspiration for the home. Previous lookbooks feature kitchen extensions, modernist open-plan living rooms, and interiors with indoor trees.

Top and above: photograph by Felix Speller

Maido, UK, by Child Studio

When Child Studio converted a 1960s post office in London’s Saint John’s Wood into a sushi restaurant, the practice wanted to pay homage to the building’s late modernist origins.

This is achieved through a mix of dark cherry wood paneling, a soft blue coffered ceiling and a semi-circular glass block wall, which also hosts a generous leather-covered alcove seat within its curvature.

Learn more about Maïdo ›

Dining room of Optical Glass House, Japan, by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP
The photo is by Koji Fujii

Optical Glass House, Japan, by Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP

A two-story wall made of 6,000 specially designed glass blocks separates this house and its planted courtyard from the bustling streets of downtown Hiroshima, casting shadows and refractions on the living spaces beyond.

Her living room and dining room open completely to the garden through pocket doors, allowing the imposing glass partition to feel like part of the interior.

Learn more about Optical Glass House ›

Red staircase with glass brick walls in Maryland House by Remi Connolly-Taylor
The photo is by James Retief

Maryland House, UK, by Remi Connolly-Taylor

Glazed inserts help filter the light down this striking little staircase in the self-designed London home of Remi CT Studio founder Remi Connolly-Taylor.

Glass blocks were also used to form the adjacent balcony railing, creating privacy from the outside without blocking the sun from streaming into the two crisp white bedrooms.

Learn more about Maryland House ›

Glass Block Apartment in Buckle Street Studios by Grzywinski+Pons for Locke Hotels
The photo is by Nicholas Worley

Buckle Street Studios, UK, by Grzywinski+Pons

A glass brick facade with rounded corners wraps around the upper floors of the Buckle Street Studios hotel in east London, making the building appear like a glowing lantern at night.

New York studio Grzywinski+Pons, who designed both the exterior and interior, celebrated these curves in the guest suites by introducing bespoke furniture with a matching radius to fit these corners. rounded.

Learn more about Buckle Street Studio ›

Studio Andrew Trotter Designs Event Space and Penthouse at 10AM Lofts Athens
The photo is by Salva Lopez

10AM Lofts, Greece, by Studio Andrew Trotter

To create a bright, sunny atmosphere inside this converted 1970s warehouse in Athens, Studio Andrew Trotter inserted new windows on the ground floor and replaced almost an entire concrete wall with glass masonry. .

The space, which can now be rented out for private events alongside a rooftop penthouse, is complemented by vintage furnishings that provide a warm counterpoint to the otherwise industrial environment.

Learn more about 10AM Lofts ›

Shower room of Glass-Block Micro House, Vietnam, by ROOM+ Design & Build
Photo courtesy of ROOM+ Design & Build

Glass block tiny house, Vietnam, by ROOM+ Design & Build

In this renovation selected for the Dezeen Awards, the Vietnamese architecture studio ROOM+ Design & Build completely replaced the walls of a small house in Ho Chi Minh City with frosted glass bricks.

This even includes the second floor bathroom, which has been transformed from a dark, cramped space into a sunny sanctuary without sacrificing privacy.

Learn more about Glass-Block Micro House ›

Spacial by Ivy Studio
The photo is by Alex Lesage

Spacial coworking space, Canada, by Ivy Studio

A wall of glazed blocks separates the public area of ​​this coworking space in Montreal from the private offices beyond, while allowing light to filter through the gridded glass.

Finishes and furnishings throughout the interior are largely kept to a grayscale palette, save for a few huge circular blue mirrors and an anodized zinc-clad reception desk.

Learn more about Spacial Montreal ›

Diamond Glass Art Gallery by Jun Murata
The photo is by Jun Murata

Diamond Glass Art Gallery, Japan, by Jun Murata

Glass blocks of varying textures and translucencies, from stippled to frosted, cast shimmering refractions in this showroom of antiques by Japanese architect Jun Murata to create the impression that light is filtering through the water.

Beyond the feature wall, the interior is sparsely furnished, housing one of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s classic Barcelona chairs and not much else to make room for temporary product display cases.

Find out more about the Diamant glass art gallery ›

Beetles cover the walls and ceiling of the J Boroski bar in Shanghai by Atelier XY
The photo is by Schran Images and Hu Yanyun

J Boroski, China, by Atelier XY

This bar in Shanghai’s former French Quarter was designed to reflect the owner’s fascination with insects and is crossed by a glass wall.

This separates the main bar from an intimate lounge with comfortable low seating and gives revelers a ledge to rest their drinks on. For an unusual interior decoration, it also presents a collection of 42 Thai Black tarantulas kept in illuminated resin cubes.

Learn more about J Boroski ›

Vizor Desk by Studio11
The photo is by Dmitry Tsyrencchikov

Vizor desk, Belarus, by Studio 11

Studio 11 reinterpreted traditional Soviet-era design details for gaming company Vizor’s office in Minsk, incorporating signage inspired by 1970s and 1980s subway stations alongside a dark red color scheme and geometric floor tiles reminiscent of public buildings of the time.

This same theme also runs through the glass block wall, which winds through the workplace under a row of hanging ferns.

Learn more about Vizor ›

This is the latest in our series of lookbooks providing curated visual inspiration from Dezeen’s image archive. For more inspiration, check out previous lookbooks featuring kitchen extensions, modernist open-plan living rooms, and interiors with indoor trees.


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