Benefits of Architectural Glass

Glass has become a dominating feature of modern architecture and design. It allows natural light to penetrate deeper within buildings and enhances the spatial dynamics. However, large expanses of glass can present challenges to both the internal and external environments. Contra Vision® products offer a unique mixture of benefits to enhance glass and overcome challenges including:

  • A range of decorative effects to add character to buildings
  • One-way vision privacy
  • Managing solar heat gain and glare inside buildings
  • Manifestation to reduce accidental collisions, both people and also bird life
  • Bringing buildings to life using digital projection mapping
  • Reducing bird strikes
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Decorative Glass
Privacy Glass
Solar Control
Glass Manifestation
Digital Projection
Bird Friendly Glass

Decorative Architectural Glass

Glass has become a dominating feature of modern architecture and design. Contra Vision® products inspire architects and designers to enhance glass with decorative effects and to achieve one-way privacy, solar control and glass manifestation. This could be a uniform color or a more complex design or image. From the inside, the decorative effect cannot be seen and the view out remains excellent.

The transparency and print pattern of the graphics can be varied to meet the architect’s requirements for image strength, privacy, solar control and glass manifestation.

Contra Vision Colored Glass

Contra Vision architectural one-way glass products can be found on buildings across the world. Most colors are possible including metallic. We recommend Contra Vision® Ceramic XR™, the one-way vision effect being achieved by screen-printing a pattern of ceramic frit dots which are then fired into the glass and toughened.

Vertical columns of metallic gold add sparkle to the Foster + Partners designed 50 UN Plaza, New York, while preserving the through-vision for the residents inside.

Building Wraps

A Contra Vision printed window film was used to provide colorful window graphics for the newly built Montreal hospital. The building wrap helps to provide a feeling of joy and well-being without blocking the patients’ view from inside the hospital. The graphic can be seen from miles away and has helped turn the building into a local landmark. This is a convenient solution if you wish to change the design over time.

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Privacy Glass

Contra Vision® privacy glass products are an attractive and clever way to hide the view into rooms without the need for blinds or curtains during the daytime.

The one-way vision from inside the building is excellent and natural light is allowed into the room. Unlike traditional reflective one-way films, Contra Vision products continue to allow a view outside even at night time.

Window film installation for offices
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White One-Way Vision Glass

Toughened glass with Contra Vision screen printed white dots or retro-fitted Contra Vision privacy window films are a discreet way to shield the view into your home or office. Many people prefer the look compared with reflective mirrored films. The view from inside is excellent both day and night.

They also help reduce solar heat gain, glare and UV radiation inside buildings.

Privacy Window Film for Decoration, Branding and Advertising

Contra Vision products can also be printed with colorful signs and decoration which can only be seen from one side of the glass. The printed films can be applied to windows, doors or internal partitions to add color, branding, advertising, privacy and solar control.

King’s College London (see photo) wanted to promote their brand and illustrious alumni on a busy street, without losing the valuable daylight in the study rooms behind. Inside, the students and workers benefit from privacy glass without having to use blinds to block out the street.

Solar Control

Maximizing the light transmission through buildings has led to an increased use of glass in buildings and vehicles. The potential downside of extensive glazing is that it can make the interior of buildings, conservatories or vehicles uncomfortably warm and expensive to keep cool. Contra Vision® solar glass products enable you to achieve a permanent and instant reduction in solar heat gain, glare and UV absorption, while maintaining both the daylight in and the view out for the occupants inside.

  • Reduce glare, UV absorption and solar heat gain within buildings by creating a tinted window effect;
  • Decrease the energy needs for air conditioning;
  • More comfortable working and living environments in offices, shops and the home;
  • Contra Vision screen printed glass is a durable and economical architectural product. The black dots on the inside provide a much better see-through experience compared with dots which are white on both sides;
  • Contra Vision printed window films provide a solution for 3-5 years.

Solar Glass

Contra Vision laminated glass was used to help preserve the antiquities within the Arts and Industries Building (Smithsonian Museum, Washington DC, USA). 99.5% of UV solar radiation is blocked to prevent color fading and other damage inside.

An iconic building in Europe was covered in over 20,000m2 of Contra Vision laminated glass which was built into a louvre system. White dots provide privacy to people inside the building and the solar glass product provides heat reduction benefits.

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Solar Control Glass

Contra Vision perforated and non-perforated window films are ideal when retro-fitting existing glazing. Use on conservatory windows is a very popular application for temporary shading in the summer months to prevent the inside from overheating.

Our comprehensive range of self-adhesive vinyl deliver an instant reduction in solar glare and heat gain. In addition to the obvious environmental benefits, our products can be printed with graphics to support corporate branding or a design brief. Only the upper part of the window needs to be covered in solar glass products to dramatically reduce solar glare at eye level within buildings.

Glass Manifestation

Large expanses of clear glass can be difficult to recognize as a safety risk. Glass manifestation with Contra Vision® helps to make the glass more visible to people and avoid accidents.

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What is Glass Manifestation Used for?
  • Prevent nasty accidents from happening in the workplace and at home.
  • Introduce decorative features which add color and style.
  • Maintain the see-through of glass from one or both sides.
Glass Manifestation on Entrances and Windows

Glass desk partitions allow natural light into workspaces. Contra Vision products add decoration and glass manifestation.

Building regulations state that glass manifestation should be applied at critical locations and provide sufficient contrast between the glass and the background.

Glass Manifestation Regulations

Due to reports of people injuring themselves by walking into glass walls back in 2018, an important issue was brought to public attention; safety markings on glass. For any large glass door, wall, or installation in a public place, there is a legal requirement to ensure the glazing is marked sufficiently with manifestations to let people know it’s there, and prevent them from walking into it.

Glass Manifestation Designs

While regulations for glass manifestation do dictate where and when manifestation should appear, there are no requirements as to how the design should be. This means you have flexibility when deciding on your design, you could incorporate your business’ logo or go for a standard design such as lines of dots or squares.

If you want your glass manifestation to have both image impact and good see-through vision you should choose a design that is broken up colors and patterns as solid blocks of dark colors will make the one-way vision less effective.

Social Distancing Signs

Contra Vision one-way vision film can also be used to communicate key safety messages about social distancing to keep the public and staff safe. The perforations in the film allow staff and members of the public full vision out of a building so they can safely exit without bumping into people entering the building.

Digital Projection

A glass façade with Contra Vision® white on black dots can be used as a screen for digital projections and visual communication.

Major Events

Contra Vision screen printed toughened glass or Contra Vision perforated window films are great for digital projection mapping onto windows. Contra Vision provides a projection screen for images while maintaining excellent see-through from inside buildings when the projection is switched off. Large buildings are increasingly made of glass and offer flat surfaces which are ideal for attention-grabbing digital projections which dominate urban environments

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Bird Friendly Glass

Contra Vision® are experts in bird friendly glass.

Birds crash into windows because they see reflections of sky or vegetation in the glass. This problem is increased if the window is covered with mirror/reflective window film for solar control or privacy. Up to about 1 billion birds die from window strikes in the U.S. each year, according to a 2014 study.

New York city recently passed a legislation that will update the building code to ensure glass is more bird-friendly to reduce bird collisions. It will require exteriors on the lowest 75 feet of new buildings, and on any structure above a green roof, to have avian-friendly materials such as patterned glass that make transparent surfaces more visible to birds flying at full speed.

Contra Vision® bird friendly glass products, including both architectural glass and our perforated window films, add manifestation to glass which enables birds to better navigate their journey and reduces the chance of collisions. It also provides both one-way vision privacy and solar control to buildings.

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Contra Vision Architectural Glass

Contra Vision® XR Ceramic™ is manufactured by screen printing on glass a pattern (usually dots) of ceramic frit, creating fritted glass. The dots are a different color when seen from each side of the glass, which creates a one-way vision effect.

From outside, the dots are typically white or brightly colored for decoration, window privacy, solar control and glass manifestation to protect birds. From inside, the dots appear black to allow the best possible see-through. Contra Vision’s patented exact registration printing ensures that each color is only visible from one side of the glass.

You can order a sample of our ceramic frit glass here

Contra Vision Window Film

Our range of window films can be printed to add color and graphics to windows to achieve decorative effects, one-way vision privacy, solar control and visual communication including branding and advertising. The products are not reflective like other window films so birds will not be confused by reflections of the sky and vegetation. From inside, the products offer excellent see-through with a black tint effect. The window films are easy to apply and last for at least 3-5 years.

Our unprinted perforated window films can be purchased in sheet form from our online shop. The products can also be purchased in larger roll format – please contact us to find your nearest supplier. Looking for bird friendly glass? Look no further than Contra Vision®.