White Noise

Allied Works Architecture

“White Noise” is a screen system designed by the Portland firm, Allied Works Architecture. Comprised of fused glass panels within a metal track, the collaboration between the architect, Bullseye Glass Co., Batho Studios, and Columbia Wire & Iron, was created for the group architectural exhibition Betweenness curated by Randy Gragg.

For this project, Allied Works founder Brad Cloepfil had a desire to explore the inherent qualities of light and air within glass, as well as create a screen system that could be mass-produced and easily customized. As realized by Allied Works designers Andrew Kudless and Keith Alnwick, the piece achieved both of these objectives and resulted in an architectural screen with varying degrees of light diffusion and transmission, creating varying levels of opacity and privacy. The screen is composed of only two different shapes of long, vertical glass panels, and a three-track mounting system that allows the panels to slide and overlap. As designed, the track helped elevate the base of the glass screen to just above 18” from the floor to avoid the need for lamination.

The 7’9’’ x 7.5” panels are made of frit (crushed glass) in several grain sizes that, when melted, trap air bubbles of several sizes. Larger grains of frit impart larger bubbles which results in areas of greater transparency, while smaller grain sizes of frit impart smaller bubbles resulting in areas of greater opacity. Made at Batho Studios, Studio Ramp, and Bullseye Studio, each panel displays the same gradation from transparent to opaque. But the ability to arrange, invert, and layer the panels in multiple ways creates a diverse system composed of the most minimal elements.