Inspired by Glass: Corning® Gorilla® Glass for Interior Architecture at New York City Innovation Center

New York City Innovation Center is a One-Stop Shop to See Tomorrow's Buildings and Design Trends Today

With customer demand increasing for smarter and more efficient buildings, architects, designers, builders and building owners are all working to create and maintain bright, modern spaces that produce healthy living and working environments for their occupants.

Today, thanks in part to glass and optical fiber innovations, new kinds of glass and communications structures are being embraced to create beautiful and efficient modern construction in ways never before possible, bringing a whole new meaning to “smart buildings.” Prime examples of the adoption of these advanced glass technologies can be seen at the Innovation Center in New York City, a space that came together out of collaboration between Corning, Elevecture and others.

One of the biggest design trends on display in the space is the use of advanced glass interiors to create stunning, unique and easy to maintain, environments. Elevecture is able to laminate Corning® Gorilla® Glass onto any material, reimagining all aspects of interior design from floor to ceiling. With its clean matte finish, stainless steel has been a popular material in lobby design despite posing cleaning challenges by highlighting even the slightest scratch, smudge or fingerprint. With the use of lightweight, durable Gorilla Glass laminated to the front of stainless steel, designers are now creating a clean, modern look that will stay smudge free even in high-traffic spaces.

Another way advancements in glass technology are reinventing common interior design materials is with a creative twist on the traditional kitchen cabinet. Instead of continuing to use the conventionally heavy cabinet panels, which require expensive hinges, new designs are opting for lightweight panels that dramatically expand the possibilities of what a kitchen cabinet can be. By using Gorilla Glass, these new designs can incorporate delicate materials like Italian linen and book-matched rare and unique wood veneers that soften the traditionally stark cabinet appearance. This technique is already being used at some of the most high-end residential addresses in New York City.

“So many times, people stay away from glass on cabinets because it’s not as durable, it’s heavy, it’s not optically clear or they’re just not sure how to use or install it,” says Lianne Friedman, president of Elevecture, a New York City-based company focusing on innovative panel systems for elevator and building interiors. “Now, they have a new material that is transforming the way architects and designers think about glass. Because it is so much lighter, they can use the money they save on heavy-duty hinges, installation and shipping charges and put it towards other materials that really showcase their designs.”

Designers looking to maximize the essence of natural light are strategic about the lighting fixtures they choose. With increasing demand for natural lighting, OLED lighting, which emits warm, broad-spectrum light similar to sunlight, has become a favorable option. Featured samples of OLED lighting are on display at the Innovation Center. According to David DeJoy, co-founder and CEO of OLEDWorks, “One major improvement OLEDs make over LEDs is that they have less blue wave light, which we know can be disruptive to sleep, and virtually no glare which causes discomfort.” OLEDWorks also offers lighting fixtures that are extremely thin and unencumbered by large, heat-resistant housing or diffusers.

For a building to truly have a smart design, every part of it needs to work efficiently and reliably to exceed the demands of the people who manage, work and live within. Today, that means the technology must be there and with Corning’s Optical Network Evolution solutions, it is. This is a visionary, fiber-deep network topology that enables future-ready connectivity inside buildings. The technology allows the ability to converge multiple technologies over a single, simplified infrastructure, meaning that applications and services from cellular and WiFi to security and powering can be provided over one easy-to-manage, bandwidth-intensive network.

Fiber solutions have the added benefit of being much smaller than their copper counterparts, which can have quite an impact as real estate becomes less available and more expensive. For building owners, that means more leasable space, because not as much space is needed to house the communications network. More space for tenants means more revenue for owners.

“We are enabling smart, connected buildings with our Optical Network Evolution technology,” said John Dulin, vice president of Market Development for Corning Optical Communications. “Whether building owners are building a network from the ground up, or upgrading an existing infrastructure, these solutions able to provide virtually unlimited bandwidth, optimized space utilization, and low latency.“

The majority of the technological advancements and trends in architectural design today revolve around the revolutionary way designers are using glass, an ancient material that’s getting more and more popular in building design and construction.

“By incorporating Gorilla Glass, a material that has previously been used mostly for consumer electronics, designers are able to bring new ideas to the forefront,” says Luigi Ciaccia, an architect at 590BC, who designed the Innovation Center. “This glass is unlike any other product because it’s so thin and versatile. Architects are especially interested in specifying new cutting-edge material technologies that distinguish their projects in terms of both design and performance. I think we’re going to start seeing more designers exploring how to use Gorilla Glass in new ways that have yet to be discovered.”

New technology trends in the building and design industries are coming together to create a pathway to smarter and more efficient developments that will continue to satisfy the people living and working in these environments. These recent innovations are providing designers, building owners and managers more versatile, intuitive and efficient materials. One of the most relevant examples of this is the Innovation Center, which highlights the latest design trends and technologies, showcasing them in one ultimate environment – a bright, airy, modern building of the future.

To see the future of glass first-hand, join Maddie Gionet, host of the "Inspired by Glass" video series, as she explores the Innovation Center. Watch now.