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The glass produced in Nový Bor has been renowned for centuries. Today, northern Bohemia’s abundant natural supply of wood and quartz – not to mention local glass-blowers, painters, cutters and engravers – continue to fuel the local craft industry’s growing global footprint. At the heart of the revitalized headquarters of glassmaker Lasvit, a striking “glass house” celebrates both this rich history and continuous spirit of exuberant innovation.

Lasvit’s new hub was designed by Prague-based architects OV-A. The four-building complex, situated on a prominent public square, combines a pair of meticulously restored 18th-century buildings with two dramatically contemporary interventions.

A view of the Lasvit HQ from the public square

The marquee glass house faces Nový Bor’s Palackého Square with a glazed curtain. Clad entirely in textured glass panels custom-designed by Lasvit to resemble traditional Bohemian slate roof shingles, it reads as a luminescent sculpture from the street, with access provided via Lasvit’s quieter inner courtyard.

Lasvit courtyard view, with both the Glass House and Black House visible

In that courtyard, the glass house is joined by a more subdued counterpart. The “black house” is similarly clad in diamond-shaped shingles – in this case fabricated using a specialized cement mixture. While the understated black house is tucked into the heart of the complex, the public-facing glass spectacle commands Palackého Square with a beacon of evening light.

An evening view of the glass house, which is lit from inside

“The black house is closed in on itself, while the glass house is basically a giant lamp for the city and ought to become the very symbol of the gradual rejuvenation of this glassmaking region’s confidence in itself and its craft,” says OV-A principal Štěpán Valouch.

a close-up view of the glass house panels

Together with the two historic buildings that bookend the complex – one of which has been occupied by glassmakers since its construction – Lasvit’s hub houses a combination of offices and flexible open spaces, which are designed to welcome visitors and host company gatherings. For the glass company, it is both a headquarters and a showcase.

inside an open space in the Lasvit glass house

In a town of some 12,000 people, OV-A’s design introduces a new scale of architectural ambition – and an instant icon. But the radical materiality is made possible by very local innovation, and it is paired with a mannered and contextually deferential form to create a complex that feels of its place. The result is at once playful and arresting – and irresistibly whimsical.

In the Czech Republic, OV-A Crafts a Glass Palace for Lasvit

The striking new headquarters for the local glassmaker combines historic preservation with radically contemporary additions.

AZURE is an independent magazine working to bring you the best in design, architecture and interiors. We rely on advertising revenue to support the creative content on our site. Please consider whitelisting our site in your settings, or pausing your adblocker while stopping by.