In the advancement of urban architecture, glass has played a key role and Şişecam Flat Glass has worked extensively to bring forth glass products catering to safety, functionality and aesthetics. Originating from Turkey, Şişecam Flat Glass is a multinational glass production company with manufacturing facilities in fourteen countries and a presence spanning 150 countries. With an experience of over 85 years, Şişecam Flat Glass has worked with the motto, ‘The world is our market’. Their values are grounded in building fair, transparent and mutually beneficial relationships through knowledge exchange with collaborators in all fields in the construction industry.
Glass can be perceived in two ways – through the lens of materiality and utility. In its innate properties, it offers control on several levels. With the right treatment and application one can modulate heat, light, noise, safety, visual connect, physical connect, ventilation, the feel of a space and aesthetic requirements of a space. Secondly, and more importantly, glass can be perceived as an idea.
How does this material extend as a means to an end to facilitate ideas?
Tracing the roots of its usage, an understanding emerges that historically, glass was used for smaller fenestrations or as fragmented parts of a whole such as in a stained-glass window. What was once a luxury material started to become more accessible during the industrial revolution. As iron and steel construction technologies developed in parallel, the glass and metal combination became key in the modern architecture movement. Glass started to appear in public spaces that demanded naturally well-lit large spaces. As towering glass-clad skyscrapers started rapidly dotting the horizons, developments in structural glass led to the material playing a critical role in today’s urban architecture. In a tropical climate like India, where heat is unavoidable, the usage and sourcing of this material evokes careful consideration. In this context, Şişecam Flat Glass is one of the world’s leading glass producers that is set apart by its brand values. As General Manager of Şişecam Flat Glass India, Mukesh Sharma articulates, Şişecam believes that glass is not a commodity, but a functional product that adds value to the user.
Şişecam’s legacy spans over 85 years originating in Turkey. Since then, they have spread across 14 countries over 4 continents. In the 150 countries that they have a presence in, they operate with local professionals following local norms and guidelines. “As a global company, we analyse the needs of every region where we operate and develop new products and service solutions with our technological and digital power to meet these needs. In other words, we produce global solutions for local needs,” explains Tansu Kumru, Performance Management Director, Şişecam Flat Glass. Their legacy becomes their motivation to approach the material and products with utmost care while also blending into a future where resource availability is a question that needs to be addressed. They have a regard for strict European standards as well as local conditions. “The Made in India policy is in perfect alignment with the Şişecam philosophy of investments. If you look at Şişecam, we exist in 150 countries with professionals all over the world. Şişecam operates in these countries with local professionals under the local regulatory norms and is managed by the local guidelines.” says Mukesh Sharma, General Manager, Şişecam Flat Glass India.
The company is led by the belief that there is value in building a collective with individuals and corporations from other disciplines and create channels of knowledge exchange. As a reflection of this, there is a strive to develop steady relationships with their users and collaborators through maintaining fair and transparent practices. This embodies an understanding that the impact of a material is determined not only by the producers but also by the designers and users.
This collaborative approach shows an approachability and willingness to look outwards, learn from and cater to different user needs.
In this digital era, their platform is curated to host webinars, discussions and presentations that encourage engagement on conversations regarding glass and its properties among designers. The architectural sales team at Şişecam Flat Glass offers glass consultancy and guides designers by considering the project location, orientation, and aesthetic inclinations while recommending the right glass for the right project.
Glass has become easily accessible and is used by many – an input from the producers in using the right glass in the right way could be immensely beneficial. To further make information accessible at any time, they have developed mobile applications that offer tools that help users in gaining knowledge about the properties of the different glass products. “ We believe in sharing knowledge, especially technical knowledge with our customers. We are expanding the same now to architects, consultants and glass trade professionals through various mobile applications. Using technology, we are expanding our knowledge on right glass selection on various parameters such as heat energy, noise control and safety.” elaborates Tuncay Aydin, Sales Group Manager, Şişecam Flat Glass.
In its conscious research efforts, Şişecam Flat Glass is also inclusive of the drastic changes in our climate. These efforts are materialised in innovation research centres with dedicated teams of scientists working on increasing the energy efficiency of glass. Chief Sales Officer of Şişecam Flat Glass, Ebru Şapoğlu mentions, “Our first priority is to ensure a sustainable future. With this perspective, Şişecam has dedicated its research and technological development efforts and operations to developing highly innovative, environment-friendly products and production technologies free from harmful compounds that threaten our future.” The products that have come from this research offer heat and solar control which reflect heat outward and keep buildings cool so energy is saved in cooling internal spaces. Glass being an element that provides an incredible range of control is maximised to its ability to determine heat, light, noise, visibility, aesthetics, mobility and safety. This can be used to alter its properties to come up with green solutions to make buildings more energy efficient.
In the wake of the global pandemic, our perception of the daily has changed drastically and made us value connection more. Glass is a material that can provide a barrier while giving a sense of openness. It can play a key role in our future workspaces which will require a decrease in proximal interactions. Building on this, Product and Brand Management Group Manager at Şişecam Flat Glass, Esra Aydinoglu explains, “Glass allows us to see each other, talk to each other when we have the proper design for it. Also, it is a barrier. It provides us social distancing perfectly. In the near future, we may give up working in open plan offices and start working in glass rooms or cubicles. There are too many benefits of glass in work places. It is hygienic, easy to clean, eco-friendly and long lasting. It has scratch, impact and breakage resistance.” says . As new designs arise, glass can be explored as a means to achieve controlled interactions and new opportunities for connection.
In this age of constant change, development and material innovation, Şişecam Flat Glass is presenting glass with meaningful layers – of connection, of value, of efficiency, of ecological awareness, of sustainable future and a space for many more dialogues that include manufacturers, designers and users alike. ♦
Images and Videos: © Şişecam Flat Glass Limited
Şişecam Flat Glass India Pvt Ltd
With a corporate history spanning more than 85 years, Şişecam is currently one of the world’s leading glass producers with production operations located in 14 countries on four continents. Şişecam has introduced numerous innovations and driven development of the flat glass industry both in Turkey and the larger region, and is a leader in Europe and the world’s fifth largest flat glass producer in terms of production capacity. Şişecam conducts flat glass operations in three core business lines: architectural glass (e.g. flat glass, patterned glass, laminated glass and coated glass), energy glass and home appliance glass. Currently, Şişecam operates in flat glass with ten production facilities located in six countries, providing input to the construction, furniture, energy and home appliances industries with an ever-expanding range of products.