Study for a new glass facade, using super-strong and super-thin Gorilla Glass for the first time in an architectural context.

This project involved a new feature glass fin facade study for the Corning Museum of Glass expansion. The complex and innovative glass fin system required our detailed finite element analysis expertise to refine and finesse the exposed architectural fittings, and to help better understand the structural performance of Gorilla Glass, a super strong and super thin glass product, used for the first time in an architectural application.

To meet the required aesthetics, set by the architect, we had to ensure that the size of the fittings did not detract from the lightweight nature of the super thin glass. This involved striking a balance between the induced catenary forces, required to limit the horizontal deflections under wind loading, and the silicone bond area, required to transfer the catenary forces back to the main building structure. A concept involving springs within the connection was developed to further refine and reduce the required connection size.

The success of achieving acceptable connection details was, in part, due to our close collaboration with the manufacturers which helped us push the limits of material performance. Studies for suitable and compatible coatings to the laminated super thin glass were also undertaken to enhance the visual perception of the highly transparent glass fins.

Corning, NY


Thomas Phifer and Partners