People all across the globe have had a long-standing love affair with glass as a material for all types of dwellings. Architects around the world are enamoured with its beauty, versatility and unique technical capabilities. The way glass reflects light is genuinely mesmerising. The way it creates an expansive sense of space is unachievable with any other material. No wonder designers and architects around the world wax lyrical about the exquisite and fluidic properties of glass. They are gaga about the panache and class it adds to any type of dwelling.
Earlier, glass was mostly used for windows, doors and partitions, but in the last decade or so, its utility has been taken to a whole new level. Several buildings across the world have popped up with a glass exterior, and they shimmer and stand out like no other. Let us look at a few glass-inspired marvels of the decade around the world.
The Burj Khalifa in Dubai
Who does not know of this iconic building in Dubai? It is, after all, the highest manmade structure in the world. Standing tall at 2,716.5 feet, the Burj Khalifa’s façade boasts an impeccable combination of glass, aluminium and silicone. Special consideration was given to minimise heat transmission for energy conservation. More than 24,000 cladding panels were used over a whopping curtain wall area of 132,000 meters to achieve energy-efficiency. The glass on the exterior facade includes high-performance reflective glazing. The Khalifa comprises of multitudes of silicone sealants, structural adhesives, aluminium mullions etc.
Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris
The magical city of Paris has strict building codes as they are stringent about preserving their heritage architecture. However, the genius of the much-celebrated architect, Frank Gehry, has yet again accomplished a modern marvel of architecture through this structure. Fondation Louis Vuitton is a magnificent vessel-shaped glass structure sitting between tonnes of greenery in Paris’s Bois de Boulogne. Completed in 2014, this monument utilises glass beyond our imagination. This structure is spread across an expanse of 126,000 square feet and is two and a half stories tall.
The architect took inspiration from simple greenhouses he saw in Britain and France and visualised them into an extraordinary structure made out of glass panels. It is a structure that is whimsical yet sturdy. The glass ‘sails’ give the structure transparency and sense of movement while reflecting the woods, waters, and the garden bringing the outdoors inside.
The Shard in London
The Shard in London is quite literally a shard of glass near the London Bridge. It is a commercial tower made from glass, reinforced concrete and steel. The tower uses a bright blue, highly reflective laminated glass to reflect excessive heat. The shard reflects the sky, clouds and the sun of the city of London beautifully. On a sunny day, the building shimmers unabashedly much like a shard of glass.
This 94-storey high glass shard was designed by the Italian architect, Renzo Piano and was unveiled for the public in 2013. The Shard is a neo-futuristic piece of a fluidic skyscraper that poses as a wonder to all who visit this timeless city. It also has a 53-meter-deep foundation that provides it with unwavering support.
The Shanghai Tower in China
The world’s second-highest structure also houses the world’s highest observation deck. The Shanghai tower is a flag bearer of modern-day architecture. The tower’s core is made up of 30 square meters worth of concrete. This base supports an outer structure made of laminated glass. This transparent façade looks glorious and also provides unique structural sensibilities to the tower. This glassy skyscraper utilises two layers of highly-reflective glass panels to lower heat absorption and provide extra strength to withstand the harsh wind loads that the building must endure at such a height.
This tower breaks several architectural records around the world, but all of it pales in comparison to the fact that the Shanghai Tower saved 58,000 million dollars in material cost due to its ingenious design. Gensler, the architectural mastermind behind this tower conducted wind tunnel tests to refine the tower’s form, thereby reducing the wind load by 24%.
The Dubai Mall in Dubai
Meet the second largest mall in the world. This gargantuan enclave is equivalent in size to more than 50 football fields! Unfathomable, isn’t it? This mall has a total internal floor area of 5.9 million square feet. Imagine this complex as a tiny town structure with streets and water parks having 80 million shoppers visit its premises annually. The interior, as well as the exterior, has been beautifully constructed with a myriad of materials with glass and steel being the majoritarian contributors. The use of polished and reinforced fibreglass panels clads the interiors, storefronts, stairs, doors and windows of this magnificent structure. The grandeur of the Dubai Mall is well worth witnessing.
The list of architectural marvels that champion glass is endless. The last decade saw countless skyscrapers that used glass beautifully in tandem with other materials. Innovative uses of glass are not only seen in commercial skyscrapers but also residential dwellings. It is light, affordable, fluidic and available for all types of constructional aspirations.
AIS Glass offers stunning varieties of this material for all your needs. Be it your desire to remodel your home or office premises; our experts provide superior quality glass solutions for both interiors and exteriors. Get all your needs met, both for aesthetics and functionality with AIS Glass glass solutions! Contact us today.