Borosilicate glass has been around since the 1800s, when the son of a window maker invented the process of adding boric oxide to the standard recipe, giving it an unusual strength. We know it as the stuff lab beakers are made of, but as glassworking grows in popularity, the super-strong glass is being regularly used by jewelry makers and product designers.
Like industrial designer Sebastian Bergne, for instance. At London Design Week last month, Bergne introduced a series of borosilicate tabletop glassware that borrows heavily from the science lab–both in material and aesthetic.
Tower Glass is a set of four simple glass beakers and an accompanying carafe, each edged with a thin glass rim. The rim acts as a stopper for stacking and as a shelf for the carafe, which holds a standard-sized water filter. Brilliantly, the cups fit perfectly over the top of the vessel to form a stopper–a solution that also has its origins in laboratory glass.
You can buy the handmade set online here, though, at a cool £265 ($424), it won’t come cheap. The series debuted in London as part of a gallery show about food and design called Shared Appetite, curated in collaboration with noted British kitchenware designer Corin Mellor.
A look at his work reveals that Bergne, who founded his studio over two decades ago, may have designed Tower Glass for more than just water–he’s designed dozens of carafes, cork stoppers, and bottle openers for wine lovers. More on his work here.