GlazenHuis in Lommel is known as the Flemish Centre for Contemporary Glass Art and has an aura that reaches far beyond its borders. As a dynamic art institution, it promotes glass in all its facets and shows that you can make of glass anything you want: an object or painting, bronze or gemstone, art or design, unique or everyday, colourful or transparent.
GlazenHuis is an open house for art, artists and the public, encouraging artistic encounters and promoting cultural exchanges between artists from all over the world. Its exhibitions and collecting and managing the urban glass art collection are central to its mission.
Every year, GlazenHuis organises two exhibitions in collaboration with internationally renowned artists and designers. Each solo or group exhibition takes a different perspective and focuses on an informative, technical, visual, conceptual or thematic aspect of glass.
Since 1998, the city of Lommel, together with GlazenHuis, has been building its own glass art collection. In 2020, the collection now contains more than 800 artworks by Belgian and international artists, either owned or on long-term loan. A collection manager was recently appointed to oversee the collection, draw up an inventory of the objects and make them available to the public.
GlazenHuis attaches great importance to the international ICOM standards in the field of collection, conservation, access and research. The museum belongs to the group of nationally recognised museums, the highest quality level in Flanders.
Dorp 14b, 3920 Lommel
+32 (0)11 399 601
Company: Toerisme Lommel vzw
Company number: 0407 576 182
In 1845, quartz sand, also known as silver sand or glass sand, was discovered in Lommel. This white sand with a high quartz content and exceptionally fine grains, is very pure and the perfect raw material for high-quality glass. Moreover it is exceptionally rare: Lommel is one of the few places in Belgium where quartz sand is mined, making it the ideal location to promote glass as an art form and craft.
GlazenHuis was founded in May 2007 on the initiative of the city of Lommel and Tourism Lommel, and with the support of Visit Flanders. Located in the heart of the city centre, it acts as a cultural link between the historic Huis Aerts and Tourism Lommel on the one hand, and the market square and De Adelberg cultural centre on the other.
For this ambitious project, the architectural firm Philippe Samyn and partners conceived a unique glass building with an extrovert personality, in which the spatial experience, art and its production live in symbiosis and form an inseparable whole.
Since then, GlazenHuis has been a symbol of Lommel as the Glass City of Flanders and has become Flanders' public institution for contemporary glass art. In addition to numerous workshops and studio commissions, it has now put on thirty separate exhibitions with highlights such as The Taste of Glass, Glass Canvas and the International Glass Prize (2012/2015).
GlazenHuis is located in the heart of Lommel, on Doorgang De Vryheyt and on the market square. It is the missing link in a cultural whole consisting of the historic Huis Aerts, Tourism Lommel and the De Adelberg Cultural Centre. The nature of this ambitious project inspired architectural firm Philippe Samyn and partners to design a building made of glass, in which the spatial experience, art and its production live in symbiosis and form an inseparable whole.
Multifunctionality, where GlazenHuis acts as an information, educational, facilitation, exhibition and glass production centre, was a top priority. The architecture was seamlessly connected to this and, depending on the function, various innovative glass applications were used.
In addition, there was a desire to create a canvas that was as neutral as possible, so that the colour in the building would come from the works of art themselves, thus maximising their impact. When it came to the colour palette, the choice fell to white and pure grey tones, with a black/white ratio of 35% or 45%.
GlazenHuis consists of two glass volumes that meet and interact: the glass box with curtain walls made of ultra-clear glass framed in stainless steel, and the striking glass cone made of triangular window frames. The mark of GlazenHuis.
The 6 meter high box and the underground floor around the cone house the three exhibition rooms. The bright exhibition space on the ground floor attracts attention and invites visitors to explore GlazenHuis. From here you can peer into both the exhibition space on the floor below, the access to the cone, and the double-height glass oven space.
The exhibition space on the lower floor links directly to the glass studio, separated only by large sheets of glass. This allows visitors to follow the production process from a safe distance.
From the exhibition space on the mezzanine floor, you have a view of the cone and the ground floor exhibition space. The glass cone has a diameter of 8 metres and towers 30 metres over the city centre. Almost invisible during the day, at night it becomes a colourful light display.
The two identical staircases in the cone spiral upwards, hanging from a hairline structure. As you climb the stairs, you cross the three exhibition spaces, giving you an overview of the entire building. You also get a view of the spire itself, which is sharply reflected by mirrors on the outside.