Elevating Architecture Design with Glass

22 August 2013

Saint-Gobain at Torre de Cristal, Spain



Via Saint Gobain Glass India Flickr Photostream


The Torre de Cristal at Madrid is an office building with the architecture design intended to look like a cut crystal. At 249 m and 52 floors, the glass tower is the second highest building in Spain.It features a photovoltaic dome and the highest garden in a tower. The building is the brainchild of architects Ortiz Leon Arquitectos S.L. and Pelli Carke Pelli Architects.


Glass has extensively been used in the architecture design of Torre de Cristal since it is an apt material especially for high-rise structures. This is primarily because it is light, flexible and easy to install as a building material. When compared with brick walls, glass potentially results in an estimated weight reduction of 16,400 Tons for a building that is 50 stories high with 40,000 m2 glass area. A glass facade can be quickly fabricated and installed; in a day's installation, a glass facade can cover 150 m2 in comparison with a brick wall of 70 m2.


Using glass in architecture design also ensures dry construction and therefore, a cleaner project site. Use of glass leads to lower envelope thickness (saves up to 8% of the construction area, and in turn increases carpet area) which is a key factor for high-rises. Even predictable seismic behavior can be achieved by the use of glass in high rise structures. Besides the functional benefits, glass makes it possible to create several value-additions as well on the facade.


Saint-Gobain glass was used all across the facade of Torre de Cristal. The chosen variants were laminated glass SGG COOL-LITE SKN 054, SGG DIAMANT and SGG PHOTOVOLTAIC.  The solar control glass from Saint-Gobain helped the high-rise to save considerably on costs for day lighting as well as artificial air-conditioning.


With Saint-Gobain's glazing solutions, the architecture design for the Torre de Cristal has been elevated to a new high – both in terms of form and function.



Blog Comments

this must employ that new extra flat glass. Very nice.

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Today, architectural glass is most often used in building materials for large-scale projects such as external window walls and internal transparent glazing on the building envelope.

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