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1 2 Examples of texturing the surface of glass by means of sintering the at glass pane or deep etching

4 6 Examples of forming glass by means of casting or hot bending of the at glass pane

7 9 Examples of integrating layers and interlayers in insulating glass and laminated safety glass

The future developments of glass architecture will be based on the conceptual desire for reduction and abstraction in the appearance of the building skin. References to the constructional mastery of glass as an engineering material, such as point xings, ttings and cable bracing considered testimony of the engineers and the architects technical genius in the early days of structural glass architecture continue to lose their appeal. The legibility of the construction and its components is relegated to lesser importance in comparison to the overall visual impression of the building skin, in which the versatile optical characteristics of the material are in the foreground. As the interest in glass skin structures increases, exposed point xings lose their structural signicance in favour of discrete edge connections or shell-like modules, which obviate the need for connectors. The architectural desire to minimise the construction and the

glass, and mirror effects and colour impact are as much a part of the visual concept as translucency and transparency. The progressive use of semi-transparent or opaque glass in the building skin does not aim to maximise the amount of light that penetrates into the interior contemporary glass construction has grown emancipated from this postulate. One can anticipate that the integration of active systems such as collectors, displays, logos and script, variable shading and lighting elements will come to dene the image of high performance glass facades.


It is reasonable to assume that these design options will lead to larger panel sizes becoming available also for highly processed glass products and specialised architectonic applications. Heat treated, bent, laminated and printed glass is already manufactured by specialist rms in a large size of 3.21 m x 6 m. In the future, the discrepancy between

number of components is not synonymous with a dematerialised appearance. Rather, the focus is on the many optical phenomena of





10 12 Examples of new joining technologies through lamination of steel elements into the composite glass 10, 11 Prototypes by Glasbau Seele, Gersthofen 12 Structurally bonded hybrid edge connection, prototype Institut fr Tragkonstruktionen, Stuttgart University


Inspiration for glass construction taken from nature: Detail of the building principle of the glass skeleton of the Euplectella marine sponge. The glass rods are arranged vertically, horizontally and diagonally and woven into the framework-like, highly load-resistant mesh.

sizes for mainstream and high-prole applications will continue to increase, until processing techniques will gradually become applicable even for the oversized jumbo size of 3.21 m x 12 m. Tremendous advances in factory design are anticipated in the area of heat forming and bending, with the result that more complex forms will be manufactured with better optical quality. It is our belief that the chemical strengthening of glass will also attain greater importance for building glazing, since it enables a more even force distribution even in the case of complex forms and a better optical quality than the thermal process. In the future, colour and texture in the building skin will continue to gain in importance. In conjunction with the growing use of low-iron white glass, the demand for multicoloured ceramic silkscreen prints and interlayers printed with photorealistic patterns or images will continue to increase. The customised surface texturing of the cast and rolled glass enhances the sensual and plastic appearance of the material. The performance of glazing with respect to building physics will

likely continue to improve with the integration of innovative components that control the light and energy transmissivity in the cavity of insulating glazing and further advances in the development of thin lm technology for photovoltaic modules.


In terms of construction, composite construction will continue to gain in importance, whether it be planar as laminated safety glass, or in the area of linear or point ttings that enable ghost connections between building components. Transparent and semi-transparent composite materials, similar to those already employed in automobile and airplane construction, will come into use and replace monolithic single glass panes. Glass with specialised composite lm, the rigidity of which is optimised for each relevant application, can help reduce glass thicknesses and the dead load of glass constructions. With the development of more rigid struc243





Computer model of a spherical space frame structure composed of glass tetrahedra Design: S. Dahlmanns, N. Fischer, A. Kruse, N. Stoff

tural interlayers point xings to the glass surface can be designed in a more advanced manner by incorporating thin sheets of a tough material in the laminate or by interlocking metal parts and glass notches. In composite constructions with titanium or specialised steel alloys, the thermal expansion rates of the structural components can be adjusted to allow for hybrid and rigid high-load connections. Adhesive technology will improve with regard to transparent edge connections. In this area, there is a great demand to create options for controlling the quality of structurally bonded connections during production and the entire design life of the building. A desirable option would be structural adhesives that discolour as their strength decreases, thus providing a visual signal of a failure potential. Another driving force in the development of glass construction is the desire to limit the production tolerances of the glass components

Semi-nished curved or double curved products with low manufacturing tolerances can be pre-assembled at the factory into standardised, cellular load-bearing modules with the help of thermal joining methods such as soldering or welding. In comparison to lightweight constructions that are resistant to tensile forces and light-permeable lm and membrane materials, the appeal of glass structures will increase greatly if the breakage behaviour caused by the brittleness of the material can be modied. Combinations of mineral glass with plastics, polymer layers and bre and mesh inlays demonstrate greatly improved mechanical properties. Advances in micro- and nanotechnology open the door to the possibility of generating self-healing or restorative effects in the glass surface through special coatings, thereby reducing the compromising inuence of scratches and cracks.

by using oat or chemically strengthened glass in order to obviate the need to compensate for tolerances caused by any heat treatment.



Computer model of a load-bearing structural space frame composed of glass tetrahedra, Design: J. Hlavka, S. Rullktter, D. Seiberts, S. Spengler



progress in glass processing, irregular and quasi-periodic geometries will no doubt be realised in addition to the systems that are presented in this work. The use of glass as a planar, multifunctional and visually variable load-bearing element creates the prospect for a new architectural language for glass enclosures: Multiple reections on reective glass: uid transitions between colourful, geometrical patterns, crystals oating in the air. [...] We look up past our heads onto a wide-span, prismatic glass structure, a continually changing building skin. The eye only takes in surfaces on which images pass by, clouds, and people below. The surfaces seem to oat, to move, they protect against wind and rain, heat or cold, separating inside and outside. [...] The image changes with the environmental conditions the sun peaks out from behind the clouds and the surand direct the light or absorb energy. [8/1]

The principles of structural skins will gain in popularity over skeleton construction. Continued research in the area of the load-bearing behaviour of redundant sandwich, folded-plate and truss structures, and also in the eld of adhesive technology, could in the near future lead to load-bearing building kits approved by the building authorities. Construction modules for medium and large spans could be introduced to the building market in accordance with the design parameters outlined in this work. Especially space frames, which are based on the prefabrication of cellular or prismatic load-bearing modules, will benet from advances in 3D-forming and in the technology with transparent adhesives. The synthesis of structural plates and enclosing panes in structural glass skins will create an obligation to furnish proof of the building physical requirements through integrated measures such as adaptive colouring or coatings of the glass or the interlayers. With continued

faces or lling gases in the glass components change colour, reect





16, 17 Model of a quasi-periodic space frame composed of coloured glass plates, The Battersea Crystal, London, Arch. + Eng.: Arup for Parkview International