Volume 25, Issue 5 - September/October 2011

From the Editor

Mass of Glass

The great thing about glass is you can color it, mold it, support it horizontally and vertically, and it is very malleable.” In this issue we’re exploring glazing trends and those are some of the comments architect Chris Ward shared when taking part in our one-on-one with architects, which focused on that subject (see full article on page 14). Ward says almost every project he does features a significant use of glass. He’s not alone. Architects are using glass more and more for many reasons:
• Increased transparency;
• Enhanced aesthetics;
• Higher energy performance;
• Increased safety and security; and
• Advanced daylighting.

These are just a few reasons why glass seems to be showing up in so many designs—and it’s not just here in North America; around the world, glass is used frequently in substantial skyscrapers—from the Burj Khalifa and the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company’s Capital Gate in the UAE to Taiwan’s Taipei 101, these structures push the architectural limits.

Though both the Burj Khalifa (Guardian glass) and Taipei 101 (glass fabricated by Viracon) have held the title of the world’s tallest building, it’s actually still attributed to the Burj Khalifa, which stands 2,717 feet and 163 floors; Taipei 101, in second place, is at 1,670 feet and 101 floors. Capital Gate (the glass was supplied by Cardinal) stands 35 stories and leans 18 degrees westward.

While these mega-structures seem to sprout up often in Asia and the Middle East, you can also find a few examples of some of the world’s tallest buildings in Australia. Located along the country’s Gold Coast, for example, stands what’s presently ranked as the world’s 44th tallest building—the Q1 tower, at 1,058 feet tall and 80 floors. It features a glass façade, supplied by G. James.

Interested in more of what’s happening with the Australian glass industry? Learn about some of the trends and how the industry is changing on page 24 of this issue. You’ll find that while thousands of miles away, the market is not that different than what we have right here.

Architects' Guide to Glass & Metal
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