Modern Stained Glass

Outside of beautiful cathedral windows, I feel like stained glass gets a bad rap. When it’s not done well, it can feel a bit dated, but I’ve so enjoyed watching contemporary artists and designers reinterpret this classic craft. From minimalist stained glass windows in the new Ace Hotel to light-filled glass homes on top of city buildings and hillsides, it’s hard to resist the colorful light that comes from stained glass. While it’s not the easiest craft to tackle on your own (without a few lessons and special tools), it’s a fun look to replicate using window films or colored plastic. Hopefully these 10 spaces will inspire you to consider a colorful panel or two at home, or just to visit some of these incredible spaces! [Image above, Ace Hotel Los Angeles Lobby. Photo by Bri Emery] xo, grace

Image above: Solarium at Storm King, Photo by William Lamson

Click through for more examples of modern stained glass after the jump…

Berlin Restaurant Window, photo by Rachel T Robertson

Kaleidoscopic Watertower by Tom Fruin, via DesignBoom

Armin Blasbichler’s home in South Tyrol, via Design*Sponge

Steve Halterman’s modern stained glass eye, via Los Angeles Times

Agate Stained Glass-Inspired Windows by Sigmar Polke, via 29RueHouse (via Paul Doolan)

Gethsemane Lutheran Church by Olson Kundig Architect

House Sculpture by Tom Fruin (via the Coolhunter)

The Souk at Abu Dhabi Central Market (by Foster + Partners) via Dezeen

Acid Modernism House by Doug Aitken via MocoLoco

Miami Airport Installation by Christopher Janney (via Designboom)

  1. Tanya says:

    Oh, my! These are gorgeous! I’m almost salivating here. So right, most people think “old and kitchy” when they think stained glass. Good thing there are these gems to show otherwise ^_^

    These are perfect – light and color are my two most favorite things, and stained glass combines these in the most amazing way.

  2. Amazing!! I love all the modern takes. Absolutely stunning.

  3. alex says:

    GE5: thanks for sharing the Richter windows. the mix of modern with ancient is something i loved about Barcelona as well – a gothic cathedral with a modern graphic door, or Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia’s doors for that matter.

  4. Amanda says:

    SO BEAUTIFUL. My mother in law is an incredibly talented glass artist. Her taste is a bit artsy craftsy for me but someday, when we own a place, I’m totally planning to work with her to design some beautiful stuff. Definitely bookmarking this for inspiration.

    On another note, I FINALLY figured out where that water tower is!!! For years I had myself convinced it was SOUTH of the bridge but no, it’s north. So gorgeous.

  5. EC says:

    The agate-inspired glass is stunning. I started embracing stained glass when I saw what Emily Henderson did for The Fig house. Truly gorgeous work.

  6. Bree Goodrow says:

    So happy to see this post! As a young graphic designer who’s also a 3rd generation stained glass artist, I’m very excited about designing and creating a modern glass portfolio… since I’m busy 9-5 designing books, my glass is only a moonlight and weekend activity, for now.

    Thanks for a little glass spotlight Grace!

  7. Great selection here, as a contemporary stained glass
    artist myself, it’s great to see the craft getting featured on
    Design Sponge. If you like these you might like to take a look at
    my Pinterest board on Contemporary Stained Glass – lots more in the
    same vein:

  8. Oh My! These images and stained glass pieces are spectacular! I especially love the rainbow hallway at the Airport! What lovely pieces of art.

  9. Maya says:

    Oh. My. Gosh

    I dabble in stained glass, and these images made me stop breathing!

    They are SO beautiful and inspiring, thank you for collating these :-)

  10. june olsen says:

    Love this! another modern stained glass designer I love is Flora Jamieson from Inspired by mid century Scandinavian design she makes humorous affordable pieces in bold colours as well as gorgeous commissioned repro work for churches etc…well worth checking out

  11. A says:

    I’ve been playing with Plaid’s liquid leading lately… I know we’re all particular about imitation crafts, but it does look very authentic and lovely from the front, and like you pointed out, with some plastic film or glass stain it’s a fun DIY with very enjoyable results.

    To the real stained glass artists, your beautiful, hard work is out of my price range right now (and rightly so!) but when I can afford it I’ll be filling the house with it.

  12. alexus says:

    cool art work love art work ;)


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