Fascinating Use Of Glass In Architecture

May 21, 2022

Fascinating Use Of Glass In Architecture

Simple, practical, and versatile are three words that best describe glass in the field of architecture. It is quite evident that over the past few years, glass has become a very important and inevitable modern-day construction material. In fact, architectural glass and its remarkable features are what has led to the creation of many iconic world-renowned buildings. Here are three exceptional projects in the UAE that reflect the fascinating uses of glass in architecture.

Cleveland Clinic, Abu Dhabi 

Renowned as one of Au Dhabi’s flagship healthcare projects, the Cleveland Clinic is known to be one of the most advanced, high-tech, and luxurious hospitals in the world. The architecture of this clinic features an amazing collection of glass technologies which is essentially what gives the building the expected theme.

Although the entire facility has different individualistic glass interiors, the most fascinating or perhaps the most notable and sustainable glass design is its double-glass curtain wall; the first-ever utilised in a hospital. This wall creates a stack or “lung” effect giving more characteristics for the hospital to breathe and feel lighter.

The wall structure works by strategically placing the mechanical floor at the bottom of the hospital tower, exhausting the cool air used within the hospital from the bottom of the tower into the stack in between the double curtain wall and eventually letting them out through the roof. This glass mechanism creates a protective buffer between the outside air and the interior of the building.

Moreover, the air in the building is also cooled in a tripartite approach using seawater, heat reclamation, and exhaustion method through the five-foot-wide space between the two glass curtain walls.

Presidential Palace, Abu Dhabi 

This is another popular landmark project in Abu Dhabi, that underlines the fascinating use of glass in architecture. The overall concept of this building aims to blend both local heritage and Islamic architecture with its diverse design and ornamental elements.

The great hall also known as the architectural heart of the building features the centrepiece of the palace; the central dome, measuring 100m x 100m and is named one of the largest in the world. Standing 60 metres above the ground, roughly the height of a seven-storey structure, the dome features 12 large double-curved glass panels.

High above the dome, there are stained glass windows, each measuring 170cm x 350cm and weighing approximately 250kg. The light passing through these glass windows exceptionally illuminates the space while blending perfectly with the white-themed interior of the palace.

Another attention-worthy element of this building is the four reflective glass-based installations on the corners of the space that resembles a house of cards. The palace also hosts a room that sports the items gifted to the UAE president by countries around the world encased in glass cases.

Far too vast to recount the use of glass in one setting, the Presidential Palace is truly an immersive experience that reflects the evolution of glass technology in the field of interior design, architecture, and construction.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi 

If there is one mosque that stands out among the roughly estimated 1500 mosques around Abu Dhabi, it has to be the world-renowned Sheikh Zayed Grand mosque. It is one of the eight largest mosques in the world and is popular, not only for its size but also for its remarkable architecture which has made some fascinating use of glass.

The architecture of this mosque is directly influenced by the architecture of Moorish and Arab mosques and Mughal architecture, particularly the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan, alongside the dome, the plant, and the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco.

The use of glass in this mosque is mainly inherited from one of its aims to achieve the greatest appearance of lightness and necessary levels of indirect light. The glasswork incorporated in the building allows it to glow with a natural luminosity, despite the predominance of artificial light sources.

Alongside different glass varieties, the mosque also features different marble panels, glass mosaics, carved plaster panels and calligraphy. The types of decorative glass used in the mosque are crafted using special techniques and methods to thoroughly bring out the interior design theme of the project.