Maison Hermes

January 13, 2010

Architects: Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Tokyo

  • Renzo Piano erects a monumental tower of light with severe, static forms covered by a shell of glass, transformed by the light filtering through its narrow chequerboard of translucent plates
  • Blocks are mounted in a steel grid that allows them to move up to 4 mm during earthquaks
  • 13,000 custom glass blocks, measuring 42.8 x 42.8 cm (supposedly based on a sub-multiple of a Hermes scarf), are smooth on one side and undulated on the outer side
  • Exterior surfaces were mirror-varnished by hand; the interior surfaces are textured
  • Meets Japan’s stringent seismic codes: The structure of the building consists of a flexible steel structure, strategically articulated with visco-elastic dampers, from which cantilevered floors span to support the suspended glass facade


Galleria Hall West

January 13, 2010

Architects: UN Studio / Van Berkel + Bos, South Korea

  • Facade causes a continually shifting, shimmering, alluring perception
  • Total of 4330 glass discs hung from a metal substructure that is directly mounted on the existing concrete cladding of the department store
  • The glass discs are made of sandblasted laminated glass, including a special dicroic foil
  • These discs are treated with a special iridescent foil, so during the day the atmospheric and weather changes influence the degree of reflection and absorption of light and color on the glass circles, so that from different viewing points the appearance of each disc and the total surface changes constantly according to those external conditions that are beyond human control.
  • At night, a special lighting scheme illuminates the discs by reflecting the dynamics of the weather conditions hat happened during the day
  • At night, the lighting design developed for the façade additionally starts to interact with the material condition of the glass discs.
  • By placing behind each of the glass discs an LED-light source and by controlling the lights digitally one by one, the possibilities to manipulate color and light emission become endless
  • Recording day-to-day weather conditions and processing the data with the computer before projecting them in transformed version onto the glass skin is just one out of many possibilities of the technology used
  • The façade solution also has the potential to be adapted for special occasions and can be changed over time according to seasons, fashion events and artistic inspirations
  • Whatever visual information is projected onto the discs, it will be transformed due to the material conditions of the glass disc and foils

Typical glass disc facade section:

  • 1. Cladding with coloured folded aluminum plate
  • 2. Covering due to odd gutter
  • 3. Cantilevering toughened and doubled layered glass
  • 4. Clamp onto galvanized steel tubes. Clad with coloured folded aluminum plate
  • 5. Existing prefab facade elements

Detail glass disc:

  • 1. Triangle shaped steel profile
  • 2. Glass disc (830) 2x5mm toughened with 2x foils
  • 3. Clamp steel

Cell Brick House

January 13, 2010

Architects: Atelier Tekuto / Yasuhiro Yamashita, Bunkyo-ku

  • At first glance, the Cell Brick House seems to be a structure of piled-up concrete blocks, but on closer inspection one sees that these blocks are in fact steel boxes
  • Three-storey home featuring a unique facade of alternating steel blocks and glass
  • On the inside, these steel boxes become built-in storage shelves

Architects: Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

  • Full self-supporting and serves as its own brace, but only when assembled as a whole
  • In the joints, the front panels are fixed by means of double point fittings to the glass fins running from the bottom to the top
  • These 10-meter-long fins made up of five-ply laminated sheet glazing have set new standards in terms of glass technology
  • The slightly sloping roof construction is also supported structurally by a square grid made of glass beams.
  • The beams reinforce one another, thereby providing a rigid, self-supporting structure which is unbelievably light and transparent

Church in Munich

January 13, 2010

Architects: Allmann Sattler Wappner Architeckten, Munich

  • Post-and-beam construction of the glass facades is suspended from large steel box-section edge beams, which are supported by steel columns
  • Uniform smoothness of the outer skin is made possible by a special glass construction: beginning on the inside with single pane safety glass, followed by an air cavity and laminated safety glass on the outside, whose outermost pane is slightly smaller all around
  • Deep blue transparent glazing in the large entrance portal: within the structural-glazing construction, the glass panes are additionally supported by rectangular metal rods as bracing against wind suction
  • The distinctive metal rods at the central axis of each pane cover the joints in the unique, silvery pattern