Originally Posted by ChiPhi
I'm not sure if the glass can be achieved as is, but that rippling with the subtle colorations is totally different than anything I've seen. Looking at the graphics firms website, many of their images look similarly hazy. I wonder how much of that coloration is what the glass may look (or might have looked) like and what is simply silly rendering...
To answer your question honestly...it's for effect. It doesn't mean it's literal. You see this rendering style done a lot for cultural or educational projects. As ardecila pointed out, it's a favorite image quality among young designers, but it's become more mainstream with larger firms. I personally like it. It's a return of artistic styles that had been lost when water/prisma color and sketch drawings were replaced with 3D renderings which delivered photo realistic imagery. The latest industry trend is more toward surreal scenery comprised of post-render photo collaging, layering and color tweaking
Though I think the glass may look different if this project becomes reality, it doesn't mean it's impossible to achieve. You can use butt-joint glazing to reduce mullion visibility and a variety of acid-etch treatments applied in gradient patterns to create those darker shades near those bending points. The way acid-etched glass refracts light makes it appear it's glowing. Using appropriate directional lighting and color temperature you can get that nice warm glow effect.
But there is alot of information left out, because it's just a concept or marketing image. The real details will be conveyed through construction documents. For example, railings can be done as a simple piece of glass, but they'll require standoffs mounted at the bottom, connecting to the slab...and obviously they aren't visible.