OTTO GlassCeilingDrawing

The Glass Ceiling




Walking on the streets of Utrecht, like most cities, towns, and villages of the Netherlands, you can gaze into people’s homes. The open windows, framing families eating dinner, watching TV, or going about doing various domestic tasks. I both love it, and hate it. I always have the urge to peer in, but something always holds me back. I feel like a voyeur. That said, the temptation always overcomes the guilt, so I look.

Looking out from the Dom Tower is different. There you have the best view of Utrecht, and all that surrounds it. Maybe the best view in the Netherlands. Yet, to me, the ironic thing is that I see more from street than I do above. True, there are roof gardens, sundecks, and even a view into an old cloister, it remains opaque. It lacks the classic, even clichéd – Dutch openness. Tap papered rooftops cover my view. There is no temptation, no voyeurism, no guilt.

The Glass Ceiling is a project that changes that situation. A rooftop will be removed, and replaced with one made of glass. In a sense it’s a way to push the concept of “openness” to its extreme. Looking down onto the Glass Ceiling you can see people eating, sleeping, taking a shower, doing te dishes – everything they do is seen from above.

- excerpt from the project proposal