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Glass & Façade Technology Research Group


Architectural Engineering Glass Workshop - October 2011


In Michaelmas term the gFT group ran a structural glass design workshop for the 3rd year Part 1 Cambridge Architecture students. The workshop is part of the ‘Architectural Engineering’ module run in partnership between the Department of Engineering and the Department of Architecture. The module encourages an understanding of the cross disciplinary aspects of building design.

The workshop introduced the students to the properties of glass and glass connections. The lecture in the first half of the workshop provided the students with basic analysis and design methods applicable to glass structures, expanding on their prior structures education.

The second half of the workshop offered the students the opportunity to work in glass to design a structural roof or bridge. The students used a combination of float glass and borosilicate glass rods to form the structures. In addition, they explored several different joint options, including adhesives and welds.

All the structures were tested destructively on a loading rig. Although the performance was varied, some structures both reached the specified design load, and succeed aesthetically. The group hopes to run the workshop next year and expand on the structural forms exhibited.