NEWH - September 2007 - (Page 20)

product know-how Through the Looking Glass By Glenn Haussman Once not considered versatile, glass is taking center stage in multiple applications The draped UltraSwirl from UltraGlas decorates the bathroom of Studio 54 at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas. An UltraGlas installation at the Luxor in Las Vegas. 20 september 2007 THE INDUSTRY IS ON THE PRECIPICE of a glass renaissance. The once underappreciated material is becoming a predominant and critical element for designers desiring to create a distinctive look. Today’s glass is no longer relegated to coffee tables and shower doors; instead it is taking center stage as a premier ingredient for those looking to give their properties a distinctive visual aesthetic. Why now? Its popularity is soaring because glass-molding technology is finally on par with designer imagination, resulting in new and innovative uses for this age-old substance. Flexible, durable, and versatile, glass is being used everywhere from countertops and flooring, to walls and windows. Its dual purpose as both artwork and a functional material is helping glass gain popularity since it covers two budget lines at once, reducing overall construction costs. “Today’s glass is extremely long lasting and does not have the same wear and tear of woods or some synthetics,” says Los Angeles Founding Chapter member Jane Skeeter, principal of UltraGlas, a Chatsworth, California-based firm specializing in glass. “It is a very tactile and sensuous material. People want to touch it and feel it.” When texture is added to the top of glass, it’s actually easier to maintain too, adds Skeeter, who has recently installed it in stair treads and even furnishings. ENVEL Design Corporation’s president and Los Angeles Founding Chapter member Quinn Mayer says today’s glass is not only stronger and more lightweight so it complies with safety codes, but new technology is also making it easier for glass to have textural finishes resulting in a brilliant light fueled radiance. “These products refract and bend light, producing a prismatic and refractive effect that results in less reliance on color,” he explains. Since glass can be clear, opaque, or both if an electrical charge is sent through it, Janie Stanfield, Atlanta chapter member and principal of SOHO Myriad, says the product is also being used to create a perception of added space. “Upscale properties are building entirely glass enclosed bathrooms, which opens the space and makes the guestrooms seem larger. All the guest has to do is push a button and the glass becomes opaque for privacy,” she says. As the hospitality industry continues to shift toward an atmosphere reminiscent of high end residential, glass will become more of an integral part of the designer’s palette. “There are some things only glass can do and it’s a medium of choice,” Mayer says. I

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NEWH - September 2007

NEWH - September 2007
Network Leaders
Chapter News
Save the Date
Products: A Medley of New Offerings
Product Know-How: Glass Trends
On the Scene: Service with a Smile
Cover Story: Taking the LEED
Sustainability: Green 101
Scholarship: Hospitality Idol
Projects: No Place Like Home
New Members
Partner Profiles

NEWH - September 2007