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Santambrogio glass house not for shy, retiring types


August 7, 2012

The glass house from Carlo Santambrogio is literally a see-through cube

The glass house from Carlo Santambrogio is literally a see-through cube

Image Gallery (8 images)

"People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones," is a proverb not usually taken literally, but anyone brave enough to live in architect Carlo Santambrogio's glass house (designed by Ennio Arosio) may want to do so. They'll also need to not be the shy and retiring type, have a fair amount of money in the bank, and own a plot of land with no close neighbors or easy points of access. Not for the faint-hearted then, but a property we can all aspire to one day live in ... if we ignore the obvious practical concerns.

This is at present merely a concept, with the all of the images being artist's impressions of the glass house. The primary cause of the project is to promote Santambrogio's range of glass furniture called Simplicity, much of which can be seen sitting in the concept home.

However, the house is reportedly an option for those visiting Santambrogio's showrooms in London, Milan, and New York. At £4,000 (US$6,200) per square meter, any sizable structure is likely to break the bank for anyone not super-wealthy, and finding a plot suitable to build a glass house upon would also not be easy or cheap.

There are some obvious questions that a potential buyer of such a house would need to ask ... What about the plumbing, the unsightly elements of which are usually hidden behind solid walls? How much would a house like this cost to heat (it's possible that as with glass roof tiles, the house could cut energy bills)? Would it survive intact and blemish-free when exposed to the elements, especially in the kind of settings Santambrogio envisions it will sit?

Perhaps these questions are too practical, and take something away from the sheer beauty of a house designed for the minimalist living many of us aspire to but few ever achieve ... or perhaps this is better suited to remaining a mere concept, however interesting a concept it may be.

Source: Santambrogio via The Daily Mail

About the Author
Dave Parrack Dave is a technology journalist with a ravenous appetite for gadgets, gizmos, and gubbins. He's based in the U.K., and from his center of operations writes about all facets of modern and future technology. He has learned more in his five years writing for the Web than he did in 11 years at school, and with none of the boring subjects thrown in to the mix. All articles by Dave Parrack

Now that's a house for the man who got nothing to hide. {with a rise of an eyebrow]


Beautiful! You could put up curtains where you wanted modesty. Hopefully, lower priced version will someday become available. Or I might win the lottery.


a Dome House made with same material and components might be much more practical. btw, I couldn't find any on internet..

Robert Silagadze

I was thinking this would be totally awesome... 'til I thought of washing windows!


looks like a greenhouse could grow tropical crops in it might be a tad too cozy and warm though wle


Fun for a public building. Do glass sinks really explode? I think Corning would have something to say about that. We once visited their Glass Museum -- well worth a trip.


@Robert Silagadze I don't think practical was the intent but a dome would probably be more expensive to make.

At the same time I have heard horror stories about people with glass bathroom sinks being in the other room and having them just explode. It is apparently pretty common and considering the glass would heat up in the sun and get rained on cooling it quickly, heating it to 70+ inside during winter months, and the way ground and materials tends to shift around between seasons (ever notice how sometimes a doorway shifts slightly between seasons?).

You wouldn't want to be under the roof if it smashed and if the glass bowl sinks people are installing today occasionally explode with enough force to send glass out into a hallway you could pretty easily be sacrificing some safety along with your privacy in something like this.

I think it is great art but I would assume you would have a hard time even getting a building permit for one of these things as an actual residence in most of the US at least.

I can't replace my porch without having local and state building permits and having a state inspector approve the footers, design, and materials. You would probably have to outright bribe officials to build something like this or build it in a country that doesn't have many restrictions.


Awesome but soooooo impractical... the moment you introduce a stitch of clothing, or cooking pot or forget about a fridge, it will ruin the view.

I can only see this working on some of the house you need solid walls for many cooking and rudimentary things like washing clothes. but it is cool looking.

On a personal chauvinist pig note: Lets get some NFL cheerleaders in there and we're in business.


Glass interior & exterior walls are routine in office buildings. Glass roofs are less common, but they appear on entryways & hallways of office & retail buildings as well. The Santambrogio house is unusual but there's nothing that's actually new. In a way, it's partly residential - a showcase for furniture - as well as commercial.


@ralph.dratman I've been to the Corning Museum of Glass a couple of times but yeah, the glass bowl sinks have been know to just explode. Search "glass sink bowl explodes" for some of the posts about it. A friend of mine had hers blow up in the middle of the night with nobody near it and it scared the crap out of her.

Here is one of the posts I found online about it but a lot of people have posted the same thing:

"My vessel sink of 2 months exploded this morning, the sink had not been used yet as I had just walked into the bathroom and sat on the toilet, the explosion blew glass all over me and I came off the seat, glass went into the toilet and all over the room.The noise was extremly loud and no warning that something was wrong. The brand was a [removed] and was all tempered glass. The instuctions for installation was followed to a T and was only hand tightened. Nothing dropped on it ever and it was not being used when it happened."

It looks like multiple brands do it.


It's very silly. Seems like perfect fodder for a Monty Python skit.

Dave Andrews

I think a completely opaque house would be more practical where I live.

Captain Obvious
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