Glass Pavilion in Toledo
The new glass pavilion at this art museum in Toledo, Ohio, is a study in dematerialisation. Built to house an important collection of glass art plus glass workshop, this single-storey structure stands in landscaped grounds, its fully glazed envelope achieving maximum integration with the natural setting. Glazed inner courtyards pierce the almost square (57 x 62 m) pavilion. Arranged behind the glass skin is a series of cellular-shaped rooms with transparent glass walls. The roof seems to hover above, supported on ultra-slim columns of white-coated steel and the non-glass wall elements of some rooms. Each glass panel was cut, rounded and sealed, then fixed into steel profiles set flush with the floor. Sealing strips of Teflon incorporated into these profiles accommodate stress changes in the glass. The interstitial spaces act as a buffer between inside and outside, while air-handling systems integrated in the hollow floor regulate moisture and temperature in the rooms. Transparent white curtains mute the incoming light and further enhance the ethereal effect.