Corrugated Glass in Detail
Bringing glass into a corrugated shape is a complex process. Firstly, a highly heat-resistant form with exactly the right geometry is needed. A flat sheet of glass is laid on it, which must be precisely the same size as the three-dimensional form so that, as the glass settles, it fits exactly. In the kiln the glass is heated up to 700 to 800 ° C so that it melts into its support, as it were.
Subsequently, the corrugated glass sheet must be cooled down very gradually in order to avoid the stresses that can be caused by uneven cooling. It is only when the glass reaches room temperature that its strength is as high as before the process. However, thanks to its geometry, the structural capacity of the new, three-dimensional building component is far greater than that of the flat sheet, rendering structural columns, transoms and mullions unnecessary.
The architectural qualities that can be achieved with corrugated glass are illustrated by the three projects from OMA: the Casa da Musica in Porto, a concert hall with large openings that establish a relationship to urban space. The National Library in Doha, a building that presented the façade designers with special technical challenges on account of the extreme changes of temperature in Qatar. And the Taipei Performing Arts Centre in which the building’s geometry (a sphere that collides with a cube) called for special detailing.