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The Glass Forest 5 | by ArchitecturalAfterlife
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The Glass Forest 5



The way each pane reflected images of foliage, mirroring the world within this glass house, created an abstract view of a separate world inside a different dimension, a scene so psychedelically mystifying, Alice would be jealous. The trees inside this enclosed space continued to push toward the sun, while leaving a beautiful destruction in their path. As time progressed, vines and other foliage had begun to wrap themselves around metal beams, which held the structure together, gripping them tightly with friendly winding hands, almost caressing them into an inevitable closure of ruination. Beneath the blanketing of vines now remains a rusting, rotting skeleton of a place that once provided food and decoration for homes, as well as a sizable amount of jobs to former employees.


I listened to the flutter of flittering birds sweeping through years of overgrowth and found myself at peace with nature inside a world full of blight. Exit sunlight all around me as I sat beneath a green, glowing canopy shielding me from the sun outside. As I looked above my head, I could make out the smallest of veins, reaching like skeletal hands through leaves providing new life to an otherwise destroyed and forgotten place. Years of desolation had left everything in the hands of nature, which pushed its way through the glass ceiling, shattering pieces of glass sky to the dirt ground at my feet. As I walked along, I could hear the crackling of glass shards beneath my feet, crunching into the dirt. Throughout the entire span of these rooms, pieces littered the dirt, glittering in the bits of sunlight as they reached inside, as if I was looking on at a shimmering sea surrounded by a forgotten forest.


We are so familiar with the vibrant, lively look and feel of the average greenhouse. These large spaces, usually built of glass, invite the sun in, encouraging the growth of flowers, foods and more, but what happens when these structures are forgotten? What happens when we leave something of this nature in nature's hands? We find quite a vibrant scene can be spawned from natural destruction.


Considering the fact that these spaces are built specifically to motivate the growth of plants, I’m sure you could imagine that once left to rot, it might not be doing much “rotting” as it is growing.


Walking through places like these during the summer months, we find trees that have grown unruly, forcing themselves through glass panels across the roof, while vines twist their way around metal beams within the architecture, surrounded by a floor covered in knee-high grass. The life growing within these glass houses will never take a back seat, even when left untouched when the conditions are this ideal. They will always push, reaching towards the sun.


During winter months, we find a drastic change of scenery still unlike any thought of a “normal” greenhouse view when snow begins to fall into the glass forest, coating bare, twisting branches of trees, covering the floor and filling a space being reclaimed by Mother Nature. These winter months give a much more tranquil display of an almost post-apocalyptic stage.


Bringing back the summer once more, with each passing year, nature will continue its reclamation of these glass structures, as trees, moss, ivy and other various plants nibble away from the ground up, until finally swallowing the entirety of the structure from ground to roof.


These spaces show us truly how strong nature is, but simultaneously how beautiful of a destruction it can create. Welcome to the glass forest.

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Taken on July 28, 2014