It all becomes clear

Speakers at Glasstec’s Glass Technology Live will shed light on some spectacular glazed schemes

The dynamic cloud-shaped roof of Frank Gehry's Foundation Luis Vuitton building in Paris, and the delicate domed glasshouses of Heatherwick Studio's Bombay Sapphire HQ in Surrey, are two cutting edge projects being showcased at the Glasstec exhibition in Germany this month.

The leading glass-sector trade fair is expected to receive over 42,000 visitors when it takes place in Dusseldorf from October 21 to 24. The two projects form part of a specialist lecture symposium at the event, Glass Technology Live, where the latest glass products, research and practice will be demonstrated and explained.

Frank Gehry’s Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris. Interior view.
Frank Gehry’s Louis Vuitton Foundation, Paris. Interior view. · Credit: Iwan Baan

Under the lecture session ‘Transparency – state of the art technologies’, architect Dennis Shelden at Gehry Technologies will discuss the Foundation Luis Vuitton's deconstructivist roof – made up of curving waves of glass that appear to float above the lush landscape of the  Jardin d’Acclimatation in Paris.

The structure incorporates 3,600 panels of glass forming giant overlapping ‘sails’, each one angled in a specific direction to maximise natural daylight inside as well as protect from direct sun.

During the same session, Eliot Postma, project architect at Heatherwick Studio, will explain the specialist software scripting needed to design the bulging skin of the Bombay Sapphire glasshouses, which are made of extra-thin, cold-formed membrane glass held between vertical stainless steel spines. Apart from achieving extraordinary spans, the glass has a U-value of just 0.7 W/m²K, a high transparency, and also helped reduce the structure's weight by up to 50%.

Other projects to be discussed at Glass Technology Live will include the JTI Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, by Skidmore Owings & Merrill and the development of a unitized all-glass facade system by architect Studio+ from Munich in Germany.


Glasstec 2014 21-24 October, Düsseldorf Fairgrounds, Düsseldorf, Germany