Glass Columns

A great amount of research regarding glass as a building material has led to the fact that glass is now more and more introduced as a structural material. Within this graduation project, the potential of free standing all glass columns assembled from stacked cast elements is researched in terms of:

• Safety
• Transparency
• Form
• Connections

Extensive research shows that not many examples exist regarding glass columns and the main reason is that safety is difficult to guarantee in a design. Recent technologies however have now created sufficient boundary conditions to provide this safety in a design.

Two glass columns have therefore been designed to replace the concrete pillars which are now present in the Berlage Zaal in the faculty of architecture at the TU in Delft. The column consists of 54 stacked cast bricks with a maximum of 10 kg each. They are assembled via a flowing interlocking system on which a transparent and stiff interlayer is placed. Special end-connections are detailed to provide a good distribution of forces throughout the column.

Overt the height of the column, the cross section varies both in terms of diameter and in being hollow or solid. This configuration has been optimized by computational design to ensure sufficient structural performance and a minimal usage of material.

Full documentation can be found by clicking here.

For a video regarding the project, click here.

  • Project Glass Columns
  • Location Delft, the Netherlands
  • Course M.Sc. Graduation Thesis
  • Date June 2016