A Glass Story

Photo 2. The ‘Blue Room’ in Palazzo Barovier&Toso
Photo 1. Palazzo Barovier&Toso in Murano, Venice, Italy

Paola Govoni (CSIL – Centre for Industrial Studies – Milan, Italy) reports on glass as a material of election for furnishings and a bright decorative choice for indoor and outdoor.

According to historians, the discovery of glass was an accidental fact dating back to around 5000 BC and born from a mix of fire and sand. Like stone, clay and metal, this material belongs to the history of man and it has always accompanied human beings for the uses in their daily life and in the beautification of houses and residences, as well as in making living spaces bright and architectures light.

Two thousand years of history of glass processing and glass industry make it an elective material, which over the years has been able to constantly change and renew itself in order to keep up with the times.


In the 11th century the glass landed in Venice and since 1291, by decree of the Government, all furnaces concentrated on the island of Murano as a measure to protect the city from fire. Since that time, Murano has become the capital of glass in Italy and an international point of reference for all those who love this material.

Glass has always been a major artistic, creative and economic resource in the area of Venice and today it is still so. No surprise, if Barovier&Toso, a local company founded in 1295 and since then a leading brand of the art of glass, has chosen the banks of Rio dei Vetrai – the historical canal that hosted the world’s most famous glassworks for centuries – for the Grand Opening of an enchanting new home: Palazzo Barovier&Toso, a true ‘Temple of Glass’, a unique site where the historical production and the contemporary taste of the company’s creations coexist, generating an exclusive visual experience. (photo 1 and photo 2)

Photo 3. Wave Murano Glass. ‘Spike Collection’ vase in red
Photo 4. ‘Canaletto’ hanging lamp by Icone Luce

Following the path that connects tradition with innovation and focusing on the capacity to create new shapes and concepts from an old material, Wave Murano Glass is a start-up founded in 2017 on the Murano island by a small group of glass-blowersled by the glass master and production manager Roberto Beltrami, who is also a physics specialist. A great knowledge in materials dynamic and chemical and thermal reactions enabled him to find new solutions and also to improve ancient working and blowing techniques, like the ‘Rostrato’ tecnique used for producing massive vases of the Spike Collection. (photo 3) The vase is covered by bits of hot glass and each spike is then pulled and sculpted by the glass master.


‘Canaletto’, the new collection of hanging lamps and wall lamps by Icone Luce, is part of the trend of interior lighting. (photo 4) A lightweight metal structure with a great personality and blown glass diffusers reflect the grace and skill of Murano. The shape and mood of the lamps in the Canaletto collection recall shapes and combinations of materials that have marked the history of design since the ‘50s.

The different finishes in which the lamp is available (pewter varnished with smoked diffuser, brushed bronze varnished with crystal diffuser, white varnished with white diffuser) allow it to be combined with various styles of interiors. Both in the hanging version and in the wall version, ‘Canaletto’ adopts an indirect light emission system with 220V LED, that does not require a power supply. (photo 5)

Photo 5. Lamp of the Nastro’ collection by Andromeda Murano


Photo 6. ‘Cases’ sideboard by Lema
Photo 9. ‘Vetrite’ and accessories by SICIS Interiors
Photo 7. A glass wardrobe by Lema
Photo 8. ‘Ghost’ model by FIAM

The presence of glass in interior furnishings boasts a long and consolidated tradition. In the living area, endless solutions on the market allow to ‘live’ glass both as a support surface for tables and coffee tables, as well as windows for storage units, bookcases and cocktail cabinet. In the sleeping area, wardrobes can have large glass doors with integrated light system to lighten the interior. The collaboration between the Italian brand Lema and the designer Francesco Rota resulted in the production of a new sideboard called ‘Cases’, a bold volume featuring lightness due to the play of fullness and emptiness and to the combination of two thicknesses and three different heights. (photo 6)

The body rests on titanium-colored metal legs inspired to the ‘60s and contains inside elements, each with its own specific function: sideboard, chest of drawers, display cabinet and bar unit. The doors can enclose glass shelves, wooden drawers or bottle compartments. Under the banner of maximum personalization, a module of the sideboard can host a precious glass cube that turns into a case, to show and protect precious objects. (photo 7)

Entering the world of mirrors, ‘Stilla’, from the Latin ‘goccia’ (=drop) is a wall mirror inspired by the shape of the crystal pendants, taking up the traditional pear-shaped cut of precious stones. Serena Confalonieri has designed it for the Italian company Potocco with simple and geometric lines reinterpreting in a modern key the object of vanity excellence and giving life to a mirror with an exprit couture able to fit in every space with a touch of personality.

FIAM, an Italian company from Pesaro, is an international brand in the luxury furniture sector specializing in the creation of bent glass furniture since 1973, in a blend of architecture and design that enhances all aspects of the project, from wall covering to furniture and accessories. FIAM paid homage to Ghost, the FIAM armchair designed in 1987 by architect Cini Boeri and his collaborator Tomu Katayanagi on its 30th anniversary in 2017, with the customization of a model decorated with colored paints especially chosen by Cini Boeri. (photo 8)


The fascination of the artistic mosaic, resulting from a high creative capacity and technical skills of the SICIS company from Ravenna, has been further enhanced by the use of ‘Vetrite’ also in 3D or backlit, or satin. Vetrite floors are versatile and have a great visual impact. (photo 9) The ‘Vetrite Gem Glass’, are glass plates and polymers obtained from a complex research process. With great visual impact, they allow the walls to be transformed into immense palettes to be used as sets. This material gives personality to living spaces and can be considered not only as an important stylistic element, but also as a functional and practical product. (photo 10)

The Crystal Collection, the last of the forms in the mosaic tiles, allows to create arabesque patterns or modern designs up to the timeless ‘tone sur tone’, or monochrome solutions, that can also match with figures and patterns from other SICIS mosaic collections.

Photo 10. ‘Crystal Collection’ by SICIS
Photo 11. Shower ‘natura 4000’ by Duka


Today, bathrooms are better equipped and more comfortable than ever before, and a perfect example of this is the shower box, a technological product able to meet a variety of needs and innovative solutions with endless product combinations and offering the possibility to choose from a wide variety of finishes.

Simple as a natural gesture and able to make unique the daily ritual of the shower, ‘natura 4000’ by Duka, a leading company from Bressanone, comes from the idea of updating, both for aesthetic and performance characteristics, the range of products in 6 mm glass, which represents not only a key range in the company’s portfolio but also a relevant share in the shower box market. Ideal for residential and contract market, the new range maintains clean lines and stability of forms, with a more contemporary spirit, with vertical and horizontal alu profiles framing the glass and giving it more evidence and consistency. ‘natura 4000’ is available in special and standard sizes and is suitable to find place in a corner or a niche, with different opening options: sliding, pivoting, folding, with profile finishes in polished silver and silver matt, with clear glass, satin and silk-screened and also available with ProCare treated glass, able to limit glass corrosion for easy cleaning and longer transparency. (photo 11)

The Samo style underlines the brand identity of the Italian company from Verona as a shower box specialist. Design meets technology, thanks to the use of sophisticated materials, cutting-edge techniques and customised features. Following on from the success of ‘America quattro’, the offer moves up a gear with the full-frame versions that make for an easier-to-install product: 4 mm shower walls, with a height of 190 cm and an extension of 4 cm – with sliding, pivot, folding and saloon doors – to meet a variety of requests in terms of size and style. Samo’s shower boxes feature different compositions: sliding corner or niche solutions, pivot doors that open fully outwards and inwards, all of which can be combined with a fixed wall. (photo 12)

Photo 12. Shower ‘America quattro’ by Samo
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