Vertical Glass House was designed by Yung Ho Chang as an entry to the annual Shinkenchiku Residential Design Competition organized by the Japan Architect magazine in 1991. Chang received an Honorable Mention award for the project. Twenty-two years later in 2013, the West Bund Biennale of Architecture and Contemporary Art in Shanghai decided to build it as one of its permanent pavilions.
Vertical Glass House is a urban housing prototype and discusses the notion of transparency in verticality while serving as a critic of Modernist transparency in horizontality or a glass house that always opens to landscape and provides no privacy. While turning the classic glass house 90 degrees, Vertical Glass House is on one hand spiritual: With enclosed walls and transparent floors as well as roof, the house opens to the sky and the earth, positions the inhabitant right in the middle, and creates a place for meditation. On the other hand, Vertical Glass House is material: Vertical transparency visually connects all the utilities,ductworks, furniture pieces on different levels, as well as the staircase, into a system of domesticity and provides another reading of the modern theory of “Architecture as living machine.”