Villaggio Valentino, Italy
Stained glass of the conference centre/theatre at Villaggio Valentino in Bari, 1996, described by Brian as “the first time I felt the real pull of huge organic forms – it was this that inspired the idea for ‘The Glass Wall’.” At night, illuminated from within, the contemporary stained glass artwork forms a curved, radiant, coloured frieze. By day, the mixture of transparent and translucent glass – together with the precise, graphic leadlines – form an artwork almost entirely perceived by reflected light. The shapes and lines of the composition function as a blind behind which the activity of the theatre can go on undisturbed by passers-by. Brian says: “I felt Villaggio Valentino was immensely successful. I conceived the work as having a nocturnal presence, said ‘Light it up at night’. The plaza in front became a restaurant, because people loved sitting there, because its glow created a kind of theatrical event. I chose, and had fabricated, opal and opalescent glass, so that in the daytime, in the outside light, it looks like sliced alabaster.”
“In this design, pools of light form onto the floor of the conference theatre and mute the inside of the room. The glass acts as a screen to the strong Mediterranean sunlight, and the room is animated by fragments of colour.” – from the book ‘The Art of Glass: Integrating Architecture and Glass’, by Stephen Knapp.