Integration of three geometrically complex glazed steel structures into the facade of a residential block, making extensive use of Digital Design tools.
The Gulita Glass Jars project comprises three glazed steel structures integrated into the facade of a substantial residential building. The largest is 11 metres tall (three storeys) with a 7.6 metre diameter waist. All are engineered to resist full wind load and have support from the intermediate floor slabs.
The complexity of the geometry necessitated an approach that fully utilises digital tools to engineer and define the structure. Our aim was to maximise efficiency and buildability of the structural elements.
The connection details were a focus of the design. They transfer compression, tension, and bending, as well as supporting the glazing system. With a potentially large number of unique node types to enable changing angles throughout the structure, we developed a strategy of setting out the steelwork elements so they could be readily fabricated while accommodating consistent joint widths between the glazed panels.
This study was informed by extensive use of 3D modelling tools to understand the step-by-step process of geometry definition from first principles.