Over the years we have seen glass be incorporated into architecture and homes more and more often being a key design focus for modern properties. Besides adding a luxury, contemporary look to a home, there are many benefits of incorporating glass into homes.
Glass is much more environmentally friendly than other building materials. It’s easy to make and doesn’t give off toxic fumes during the production process. It’s also extremely durable and will last many years before needing to be replaced.
Additionally, glass is extremely good at keeping heat inside homes as it does not conduct heat, and it also allows more natural light into the home — both of these benefits mean having a glass home can help lower energy consumption and therefore, bills. It can also keep homes in warm countries cool due to its glazing.
Attractive and eye-catching
Regardless of your favoured home style, there’s no denying that glass is extremely aesthetically pleasing! From the outside, glass properties can look like pieces of art and create a modern, unique home that will certainly provide a luxury feel. Glass homes also look stunning from the inside due to the modern style and natural light flooding in.
Benefits health and wellbeing
A home featuring a lot of glass can improve mental health by bringing in more natural light. This benefit can help with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which is something that affects more than 12 million people across Northern Europe.
Glass can also help with physical health! As humans respond to light, our circadian rhythms (aka internal body clock) signal our body to coincide with the world around us — helping us to wake up and fall asleep, ensuring our bodies operate well and improving general wellbeing.
A key benefit of a glass home is the panoramic views that it can provide. For those who are lucky enough to live in an area with picturesque views, whether it’s an ocean, mountain, or city view, incorporating glass will ensure homeowners or renters can enjoy their surroundings at all times. As well as natural light supporting mental health, simply looking out at a nice view and being more connected to nature can boost our mood.
We wanted to find out if any countries, in particular, seemed to have a lot of homes that incorporate glass and share the reasons why each country may have more glass homes than others.
To figure this out, we looked at international real estate websites and searched for properties across the world, filtering the results by features related to glass-heavy homes, such as panoramic views and eco-friendly homes. We then calculated the number of these home types in different countries.
Based on our research, the top ten countries with the most glass homes are:
1. Spain: 15,552 glass home listings
This popular holiday destination is number one on our list after we found 15,552 glass home listings on real estate sites. There are a range of reasons why Spain may implement glass homes into their architecture. Firstly, Spain has a vast amount of views due to its coastline and beautiful landscapes, from mountain top views in Ronda, Balearic Island ocean views, to city views in Barcelona. Spain is one of the top destinations for Brits’ holiday homes, and buyers or renters are often willing to pay a premium price for an impressive view.
Spain is also one of the eco-friendliest countries in Europe as it has a range of targets and plans in place to tackle sustainability issues. One example is that in the city of Totana, a Green Power Grid contributes 85 megawatts of electricity to the national power grid by utilising the country’s sunshine—nearly 2,800 hours a year. The high number of glass homes may be due to the country’s passion for sustainability.
Finally, certain parts of Spain attract the rich, such as Marbella in the Costa Del Sol which is commonly referred to as a ‘playground for the rich’ due to its luxurious shops, bars and clubs. These wealthy areas also tend to be made up of luxury, modern homes, which often heavily feature glass.
2. United States: 4,881 glass home listings
It’s not a huge surprise that America has a high number of ultra-modern, luxury, glass homes as it’s the richest country in the world by Gross Domestic Product (GPD) — with $26,854.60 billion in 2023. The US is also home to the most billionaires (around 724), so this certainly adds to a large number of lavish glass properties Billionaire and CEO Eric Wu purchased a modern glass home shaped like a propeller, known as the Orum House, last year for $32 million (around £25 million.) This home was previously featured in Beyonce and Jay-Z’s Tiffany commercial and is truly incredible.
The weather on the West Coast tends to be warm all year round, which may be another reason for the influx of glass homes —they will maximise natural light, creating a bright, happy, inviting atmosphere and providing health benefits.
The West Coast isn’t the only part of the US with modern glass homes, however, New York also has many looking out to the scenic view of Central Park, as does Texas to showcase the delightful desert views.
3. Portugal: 4,156 glass home listings
Another warm country and popular holiday destination, Portugal has a wide variety of contemporary homes. Similarly to its neighbouring country of Spain, Portugal is known for its idyllic scenery and having a lot of glass in a home allows visitors to take full advantage of these perks.
The most luxurious areas in Portugal, where some of the population with the highest income reside, include Lisbon, Oeiras, Cascais, Sintra, Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia. Portugal’s own Cristiano Ronaldo purchased the country’s most expensive home last year, reportedly costing a whopping £28 million. Although this home is still in construction, the mansion will reportedly be ‘the size of a hospital’ and the CGI images show an ultra-modern glass design.
Although Portugal has taken steps to become more sustainable, they aren’t in the top 50 most environmentally friendly countries. Perhaps the implementation of glass in architecture and home design will help the country get closer to its goals.
4. Italy: 4,152 glass home listings
Italy is one of the healthiest countries in the world, both physically and mentally. There’ll be many reasons as to why this is, such as their diet and lifestyle, but incorporating glass into their designs may also contribute to the residents’ well-being.
Italy isn’t known for having ultra-modern homes with a ton of glass elements and features and instead is associated more with neoclassical architecture with plenty of arches and columns. However, certain Italian areas have more contemporary homes, that incorporate glass to make the most of the gorgeous scenery.
Many of the modern homes are seen in Milan which isn’t too shocking as it’s the fashion capital of the world and the wealthiest metropolitan in Italy. There are also modern homes in other cities, such as Rome, and areas known for their breathtaking natural beauty, like the Amalfi Coast and Lake Como.
5. UAE: 3,101 glass home listings
Home to cities including Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the United Arab Emirates is one of the most luxurious countries in the world. As it’s known for its grand buildings, designer stores, and rich lifestyle, we were certainly not surprised that UAE made the list. Many of the buildings in the UAE tend to be magnificent structures, full of shapes and layouts that truly defy gravity and a LOT of glass.
Although glass buildings were originally designed in Scandinavian countries due to their cold climate and lack of daylight, warmer countries now include glass within architectural designs to make the most of the natural light. Glass can also keep heat out of the home due to the glazing, which is certainly needed in this country where temperatures in summer months can reach up to 50 degrees Celsius.
Although this country is mostly desert and flat, meaning there isn’t a ton of higher-up viewpoints, the tall buildings and striking city views are certainly worth having a glass home to enjoy.
6. France: 2,821 glass home listings
France is ranked as the sixth most beautiful country in the world due to its amazing landscapes. Whether the view is of the snow-capped peaks of the French Alps, sandy beaches in the South of France, or the charming city views of Paris, a glass home would certainly make the most of these majestic sights.
Unfortunately, the incredible sights in Paris can only be appreciated for a short amount of time in winter due to the country’s short daylight hours in the colder months. In December, the sun in Paris rises at 8.35 am and sets at 4.56 pm, which is much shorter than other countries on our list. However, implementing glass into homes via large windows, roof lanterns, and glass balconies can really enhance the limited natural light. Adding plenty of mirrors into the home allows light to bounce around, spreading even more natural light. Regardless of the limited daylight, glass homes will also allow homeowners to make the most of the nighttime views which are especially stunning in Paris — the City of Light!
As well as glass enhancing the aesthetics of France, it may be a contributing factor to the country’s eco-friendliness. France is considered a world leader when it comes to sustainable initiatives, including creating greener cities by planting more trees and reducing congestion. , Using glass is a great way to stay sustainable as possible due to its lack of toxic fumes during production, durability versatility and energy efficiency.
7. Greece: 1,309 glass home listings
This European country is known for its Mediterranean climate with warm weather year-round, making it a go-to holiday destination for many. Implementing glass into housing in Greece can be a great solution to keeping homes cool due to the glazing.
Not only will glass help keep homes cool, but the panoramic views it can provide could also benefit the mental well-being of occupants. Of the places on our list, Greece is one of the least happy according to world rankings, and the most unhappy citizens in Europe — this suggests that more glass houses are needed!
With panoramic views, residents can enjoy a range of sights from sandy beaches to stunning mountain scenery. Santorini is one of the most luxurious areas in Greece, and the views provided by this area are iconic and truly picturesque.
8. Switzerland: 497 glass home listings
Of all the countries on our list, Switzerland is the greenest — it’s in the top ten of the most environmentally friendly countries in the world. While there are various factors that contribute to the country’s sustainability, its vast number of glass homes is likely also a key aspect.
Switzerland’s lack of daylight in colder months may be another reason for the country implementing glass into its design — with just 8 hours and 37 minutes of daylight in December. This building material will make the most of the natural light available, and as daylight enhances both physical and mental health,it may not be a coincidence that Switzerland has consistently been ranked as one of the happiest countries in the world.
Another huge benefit for glass homes in Switzerland is the access to extraordinary sights. This country has been listed as one of the world’s most beautiful year after year as it’s home to outstanding crystal clear lakes, surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery.