Bunshaft’s showcase: exploration of the display-building. World Fair, 1939

Andrea Parga


The Venezuelan Pavilion was one of Gordon Bunshaft's first projects for Skidmore & Owings. It was a large showcase, an airy place, a rectangle with glass walls. The exhibition was ordered between the glass perimeter and the plane on which the map of Venezuelan geography was placed. The exhibition accompanied the passage to the restaurant terrace and the tropical garden. With the success of the setup, the author architect and his team recognized the need to keep the influence of this approach in the shops and lobbies of their future buildings. For this reason, it was sought to deepen on how glazed planes improve both the internal space and the surrounding environment. Attempts have been made to reveal what Bunshaft pursues by exploring the attributes of glass sheets in his projects and reflecting on the “visual display” involved in the role of glass curtains “in and from” the pavilion. The study showed that to take heed of what is known “will be visible,” has brought a renewed perspective on the opportunities offered by the use of glass in architecture.


glass curtains; visual communication; display-building; NY World Fair; Gordon Bunshaft

Full Text:



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