DIGITIZED GLASS HOUSE,  concept for a new construction technology in 2050

DIGITIZED GLASS HOUSE, concept for a new construction technology in 2050

The project has been created by CREATON architectural studio for an international competition in Japan (2011), named GLASS IN 2050. The aim of the competition is to provoke designers' imagination in finding new opportunities for using glass in the near future.


The concept of the DIGITIZED GLASS HOUSE is based on the idea of using a revolutionary new building material – SMART BRICKS, or BLOCK CELLS - construction units replacing the traditional brick.


BLOCK CELLS are construction modules with dimensions of 100 / 50 / 25 cm. Each module is a computerized digital device with a considerable amount of integrated technical and electronic equipment.


Only existing technologies have been used for this project and there are no objective obstacles for its actual realization. 


The DIGITIZED GLASS HOUSE is a concept for a hi-tech modular construction system, inspired by nature. In nature - the cell is the basic structural and functional unit of all known living organisms. Cells are often called the "building blocks of life".


Based on the same principle - the BLOCK CELL is a single construction unit with a complex structure and multiple built-in functions.

Just like cells in nature - BLOCK CELLS are designed to communicate with each other, exchange and store information, convert and transfer energy, move, adapt, respond, react, exchange fluids, regulate humidity and temperature, work independently and as a part of a complex, powerful mechanism.




  1. Supporting structure - metal frame.

  2. SMARTGLASS double glazing.

  3. Protective nano-layer.

  4. 2D/3D touch screen display - invisible membrane.

  5. Photovoltaic membrane - autonomous power source.

  6. Electrochromic glass.

  7. Electromagnetic mechanisms for BLOCK CELL units assembly.

  8. Electromagnetic mechanism for rotation / motion of a single module or a group of modules.

  9. Integrated installations - electrical system and wiring, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) and WSS (water supply and sewerage) systems.

10. Hardware - processor, memory, wireless communication, sensors and other electronic devices.

11. Accessible storage space (cabinet, showcase).






Each module consists of:

- Structural frame which supports the building

- Inner and outer double glazing made of hi-tech SMARTGLASS

- An accessible storage space (cabinet, showcase) between the glazing panels.

- Interlocking electromagnetic system for easy, quick, precise and glue-free assembly and disassembly, leveling and replacement of modules.

- Integrated hardware - built-in electrical system, water supply and sewerage system (WSS), heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system (HVAC), self-monitoring system, multiple sensors and electronic components, wireless communication system, etc.


BLOCK CELLS provide highly effective heat insulation and waterproofing.





●   SMARTGLASS - electrochromic glass foiled with several layers of coatings, providing extra-functionality:

- An invisible solar cell coating generating electricity (photovoltaic membrane) providing fully autonomous power supply.

- Protective nano-layer.

- Invisible coating that turns the glass surface into a hi-resolution 2D / 3D digital touchscreen display.

●  3D audio / multimedia system.

●  Intelligent building installation components - EL, WSS, HVAC.

●  Electronic equipment - sensors, switches, computer (processor, memory, wireless communication, graphic card, sound card, camera, etc.).

●  Electromagnetic mechanisms for real-time rotation and motion of BLOCK CELLS.

●  Gyroscopic / electromagnetic system for self-leveling and counter-vibration system in case of an earthquake.

●  A collection of adaptive software - construction process assistance, multimedia organizer and player, digital library, household monitor, remote access App, voice-recognition, networking and information exchange, etc. 

●  Synchronized choreographic / interactive performance of BLOCK CELLS, turning the building into a "living creature".







Digitally controlled electrochromic technology allows a real-time manipulation of each panel's properties - transparency, reflectivity, glossiness, color, spectrum range, etc. This means that you can change the configuration of the windows in the blink of an eye. Blinds, shutters and louvers also become virtual and digitally controlled.


Using the LCD membranes on the SMARTGLASS panels as a light source provides a smooth and uniform lighting of the inner spaces (or mimics any traditional light source with equal success). This means a revolution in lighting - endless possibilities to play with spectrum, colors, brightness, patterns, visual effects, interactive displays, etc.


Using SMARTGLASS on a global scale would make traditional lamps and switches obsolete.


On the outside, the house inspires with a chameleon-like appearance - continuously changing its color and pattern. The possibilities are virtually endless. Buildings overlaid with interactive and dynamically changing 3D images will become a part of the future.





Each BLOCK CELL is self-powered. BLOCK CELLS collect and store solar energy. Energy is distributed and transmitted amongst all the modules so that each of them is equally charged. Using this mechanism, the overall outer and inner surface of the building is capable of capturing enough light to generate much more power than it actually needs, even in winter conditions. Therefore the building becomes completely independent and energy-autonomous. Connection to a centralized power grid becomes redundant.


If this principle is applied on a global scale we may expect that large power plants would no longer be practical and gradually become history.

The impact on the environment could be huge and this could be a gigantic leap forward.







BLOCK CELLS are designed in such a way that they can rotate independently or in groups around multiple horizontal and vertical axes using electromagnetic mechanisms. This means that a random set of modules can be used as a door or a window. What is more – doors and windows can change their position as frequently as desired, using only software settings. In fact – doors may have different locations for everyone.


Electromagnetic mechanisms are not only capable of re-configuring the openings but also re-organizing the whole living space, sliding, folding and moving entire walls and sections of the interior (or exterior). This is a unique opportunity to have a constantly moving, dynamically changing house, the contours of which are only restricted by our imagination. With appropriate software to control this "living organism" such kind of modular system becomes universal - the possibilities for a building's appearance are practically endless.


The building process is also significantly simplified. The information about the architectural project is contained in each module. In fact - we don't even need an architectural project.  A list of pre-defined designs is already available and ready to use. Of course - changes and modifications can be done at anytime to match your needs.


If we go further - this technology would open the doors for a new "breed" of self-unfolding and self-constructing buildings. Delivering the modules is in the most compact way possible - stacks of BLOCK CELLS. With the appropriate software, and using only sunlight to operate and self-build - no building company will be needed.






The BLOCK CELLS are equipped with all installations needed for a building to function properly.

Interconnecting these installations on the modules assembly is an automatic and computerized process, using the integrated electromagnetic locking systems. The construction process is simplified to the extent of a game of solitaire.


Once assembled into a logical system (building), the modules form a self-sustaining network and work as a team. There is no need for further wiring - each module already has all the necessary interfaces - fuses, power-outlets, sockets, etc. On-off switches are missing because everything is controlled by touch-screens, voice commands, sensors or remote-controls.


Air conditioning and ventilation are inconspicuous, decentralized and therefore highly effective.


A water supply and sewerage network can change its configuration simply by reprogramming it - without even having to leave the bed.





BLOCK CELLS are connected in a network and constantly communicate with each other.  Built-in sensors pick up data for virtually everything. Computers analyze in real time the readings and process /store / transmit the data. Each module keeps a copy of the information, so If a module is replaced, no information is lost.

Residents can interact with BLOCK CELLS using voice commands, gestures, remote control or a graphic interface. Regardless of where they are, they have all the necessary information available - the house turns into a personal computer, a multimedia library, a housekeeper, a personal assistant, a doctor and a guard - in their virtual manifestations.


The house knows everything about residents, guests, pets, their habits, moods, health issues,  etc. It watches the weather forecasts for you. It sets off an alarm when there is a potential or an ongoing danger. It manages your to-do list, meetings and tasks. It checks the fridge and tells you what is missing or even suggests the menu.


Having a house built out of computerized SMART BRICKS gives more opportunities, makes life more comfortable, organized and secure, saves money and provides more spare time – essential assets that are always missing in our daily life. Software applications take care of everything. Residents can easily avoid the trivial domestic problems and chores, and focus on truly important things.





This concept might be not so far away from its actual realization. Many of the technologies integrated in the design are developing fast and becoming cheaper.

The price of a BLOCK CELL unit could drop dramatically with the advent of large scale production.


People are already searching for opportunities to be completely independent from a centralized power supply - to save money and go green at the same time.


Having a house made by BLOCK CELLS also saves you money on:

  - Hiring a building company

  - Building materials - bricks, concrete, panels, cladding, flooring, plastering, painting, etc.;

  - Doors, windows, power-outlets, switches, locking systems, alarm systems;

  - Heaters, air conditioners, ventilation systems lamps, bulbs

  - Blinds, shutters, curtains;

  - Shelves, drawers, cabinets, display cases;

  - TV and multimedia systems

Who would have thought that only one product could replace all of them?

Are they going to become extinct?


Very soon we might just realize the true value of living in a DIGITIZED GLASS HOUSE.




Presenting new architectural concepts is not only a provocative and eccentric act. We are passionate to share our views that could offer new perspectives, bring a better future, or even have an impact on the whole social structure. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the trigger to the most significant events.



© 2011 S. Stefanov

Architectural planning


Design & engineering



Residential house, Futuristic design
Conceptual project / International competition project
total area:
200.00 sq. m