Saturday, 25 June 2011

Curved glass contributes with the facades of the future

Structural glass symbolizes modern architecture and it is considered an added value to achieve all glass facade and non-metal supported transparent structures.

The prospect of shapping glass has contributed to attain a broad variety of aesthetical and structural options through oversized pieces of glass with complex geometries. Its versatility has allowed to achieve a better integration between the aesthetic and functional objectives.

The Casa da Musica in Porto (Rem Koolhas, 2004) is an example how to make the best of curved glass, because glass develops both functions: structure and enclosure. The glass shape increases the set stiffness and any metallic frame is required. The curved glass pane is mechanically supported at the bottom and at the top, without any other support along the 6 meters in height of the vision area.

Casa da Musica in Porto (Rem Koolhas, 2004)
Casa da Musica in Porto (Rem Koolhas, 2004)
In glass bending technology, one distinguishes between hot-bending and cold-bending. Hot-bending consists on bending glass at high temperatures, being the most common manufacture method. On the other hand, cold bending can be done in two modes: bending during the assembly at the construction site or laminated bends are done in factory. In both cases, the glass are brought to the desired shape by means of external contact pressure.

In order to achieve a double-curved, spherical, curves with small radius or complex geometries, high temperatures are required during the fabrication process.

This post is under construction. In fact, it will be under construction during a long time. Creativity  is the limit, because curved glass contributes with the facades of the future.