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Engineered transparency | a recent lecture in Dusseldorf by Hugh Dutton

parametric design, architecture and art

pyramide
Louvre inverted pyramid, Arch: Ming Pei, Structural Design: RFR (with Hugh Dutton), photo: twiga269 on flickr.
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As HDA often works with glass and light steel structures, transparency has always been a central point of interest in our design process.
We share today the paper and its related presentation given by Hugh Dutton on 30th September 2010 in Dusseldorf, at  Engineered Transparency international conference.

HDA Projects

Here is the introduction of the paper:

Structural glass has become a commonplace component in architecture. Early pioneering work on structural glass that created the spherical bearing articulated bolts for suspended tempered glass and tensile cable wind bracing cable trusses was carried out by Peter Rice and the RFR group at la Villette, Paris in the early ‘80’s. The author had the good fortune of participating in that project and co-authored Structural Glass with Peter Rice telling the story of the development process.

For HDA, it is the architectural potential of structural glass that is the most appealing to me. At the time, maximal transparency was the objective of our work. The architect of the museum, Adrien Fainsilber, wished that the Museum have an open dialogue with the park, using the south facing Bioclimatic Facades as a ‘zone tampon’ between the museum and the park. The glazing system consisting of 2m x 2m panels of tempered glass were suspended from each other using investment cast components in stainless steel. An entire bay measuring 8m x 8m is an autonomous structural glass panel
gravity supported by the glass itself and using the glass surface to stabilize the cable system. The ‘cable truss’ was developed as an alternative to glass fins. The cable truss itself was a pioneering development of non-linear analysis engineering at the time.

RFR’s work has attempted to explore the architectural potential of structural glass, applying it in varied contexts with maximal attention to the architectural message of each case rather than an expression of the technology itself. There has been notable attention to the recent concerns of sustainable design.

Please find below the full article or download it here > HDA: Structural Glass, Work in Progress (1444)

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For those who read French, the following is a passage from a Hugh Dutton’s text about transparency, glass and light in architecture:

“Je crois que le Verre Structurel a permis la naissance d’une nouvelle architecture de la transparence et avec une nouvelle qualité centrée sur la notion de lumière. Également, cela a rendu possible aussi une approche sculpturelle au traitement de la matière des structures porteuses. Dans ce sens, la pyramide inversée de Pei me parait un exemple brillant de cette symbiose entre verre structurel et lumière. On y vois l’éclatement des points iridescentes, la clarté et, enfin, une révérence quasi sacrée de l’objet en verre meme 20 ans après sa conceptoion et realisation.”

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2 comments
  1. Dear Mr. Dutton,

    thanks for the introduction.
    I stay in Düsseldorf in Sept. 2010.
    Good inspiration and good audience- ..the development process was sehr spannend.

    Best regards
    Kerstin Burchardt

    Please send me a message to your next talk.xx

  2. Wow that looks cool!

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