In healthcare environments, evidence-based design has shown that nature has a positive impact on health, healing, and wellness. In our technology-centric indoor workplaces, a “glimpse outside” imparts a sense of calm and balance. And in transitional settings of all kinds, visual ties to the natural world help blur the lines between inside and out.
As architects and designers look for ways to bring the outdoors in, incorporating scenes of nature in laminated architectural glass has become a popular approach, thanks to the material’s ability to balance a wide range of creative and pragmatic criteria. The use of photography as the visual element is especially on the rise.
Readily available photography of an appropriate size and resolution for use in large-scale architectural glass applications is lacking. Stock photography is often too small to achieve a high-definition end result. And custom or commissioned photography can be expensive and time-consuming to research, produce, and acquire.
As a manufacturer of architectural glass, we saw several interrelated opportunities: Build our own collection of large-scale photographs that would serve as interlayers for our Spectra laminated glass. Create these images with sufficient size, scale and resolution to give architects the creative flexibility, and ease of use they were seeking.
The Result: The Zoom Image Library & Zoom Digital Darkroom
The Zoom Image Library and Zoom Digital Darkroom, used with our ViviGraphix Spectra glass, make it easier than ever to bring nature’s beauty to large-scale glass applications.
Zoom Image Library
The Zoom Image Library includes a growing collection of literal and abstract scenes, from sweeping panoramic vistas to intriguing close-ups of nature. Created using sophisticated gigapixel image capturing equipment, Zoom images are large-scale, super-high-resolution photos that serve as the interlayers for our Spectra laminated glass.
Because of their size and scale, Zoom Images afford tremendous customization potential. Designers can select areas within a full-size photo, use an image at its literal scale, or zoom in and out to discover art within the bigger picture.
For example: a Zoom photo of 139 inches by 124 inches at 300 dpi (or 277 inches by 249 inches at 150 dpi) is significantly larger than most stock photography, which often tops out at around 24 inches by 36 inches at 300 dpi. Consider both for a series of 32 inches by 68 inches wall panels, and you get a feel for the potential of Zoom images.
Zoom Digital Darkroom
Part interactive design studio, part curated photo library, the Zoom Digital Darkroom gives designers access to the Zoom Image Library and provides design tools to get creative.
As comprehensive as it is intuitive, this application allows users to explore ideas, save and download their work, manage projects, and request budget pricing—all from within the app. There’s no need for outside photographers or separate programs like Photoshop. With the Zoom Digital Darkroom, users can simply focus on the creative process.
Together, Forms+Surfaces’ Zoom Image Library, Zoom Digital Darkroom, and ViviGraphix Spectra glass offer exciting new ways to transform public spaces with stunning high-resolution photography of the world around us.