The History of Glass Balustrades

glass-balustrades

In our modern world, glass balustrades are very popular and it’s not hard to figure out why. Their modern and versatile design makes them look good in a great number of settings which is why many homeowners choose glass balustrades for their balconies, decks or staircases. Furthermore, glass railings have many safety benefits to offer which is very important, especially for little children and pets. In this article you can read about where balustrades come from and how they changed throughout the history.

Balustrades – An ancient architectural invention

Balustrades have been used for centuries around the world and can be found in many ancient structures. Their main functions were to provide safety on balconies, terraces or bridges and to create a beautiful look. They were also built to provide more privacy, such as the beautiful golden balustrade at Versailles that separates the King’s bed from the rest of the room.

Balustrades have a way longer history than many other forms of modern architecture. The earliest forms of balustrades were found in Assyrian palaces between the 13th and 7th century. We don’t have much evidence that balustrades existed during the period of the Greek and Roman but in the late 15th century balustrades were used in many ancient Italian palaces.

Where does the word “baluster” come from?

The word “baluster” comes from the Italian word balaustra, which means the pomegranate flower. The very first balustrades were shaped like a partially opened flower. This shape was not only used in balustrades, but also in furniture and other elements. Traditional balustrades were mainly made out of clay or wood because those were the materials that were available at that time. Balustrades located on the outside of a building were mainly made out of stone. For balustrades inside a building, mainly wood was used. Ancient balustrades consisted of a molded handrail supported by traditionally shaped columns. Especially during the Renaissance period balustrades were very popular. Many ancient buildings in Italy designed by famous architects such as Michelangelo and Bernini are good examples for traditional balustrades.

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Balustrades today

Balustrades continue to be used today in many different materials, shapes, and designs. Nowadays, we barely use wood or clay balustrades anymore, unless maybe some owners of older period properties wish to retain the traditional style and choose balustrades made out of wood but usually, we use steel or glass balustrades. The functions of balustrades haven’t changed throughout the years. Even today glass balustrades are important for safety reasons as well as for their decorative function.

Glass balustrades are often used for modern buildings, but we also see glass balustrades on more traditional homes. They can give the finishing touch to an urban environment as well as to a more rural one. Glass balustrades are amazing to make areas feel more spacious and making high floors safer without blocking beautiful views.

Glass Balustrades – The most beautiful railing system today

Glass railings become more popular every day. They add a modern and luxury flare to any deck, balcony or staircase and make the space safe to use, especially for little children and pets.

Glass balustrades are highly customizable and appear very neat which gives you the freedom of designing the space around them versatile. One other reason why we mainly use glass balustrades nowadays is their easy maintenance. Glass balustrades don’t need to be treated to maintain their durability. Balustrades made out of wood can be dangerous in case there is a fire, but can also get damaged when exposed to rain, storms and other weather conditions. Glass balustrades on the other hand, are very safe and have a high visual appeal.

What makes balustrades so interesting and valuable is the fact that they are important parts of buildings throughout the entire world for many centuries.

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