Innovative Use Of Glass In Architecture
Innovative Use of Glass in architecture
The tower which rises to a height of 1,450 feet, was originally designed by the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill for Sears, Roebuck & Company. It was completed in the month of May, 1973. The building held the record for the world’s tallest building for 25 years until the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, in Malaysia was built in 1998.
The Sears Tower Glass Balconies or Willis Tower as it is now known as extends from near the building’s peak at 1,353 feet, adding a whole new dimension to the city skyline.
The Willis Tower adds a new perspective to glass in architecture, the structural glazing concepts used, add to the aesthetics of this high rise building.
Each box comprises of three layers of half-inch thick toughened glass, laminated into one seamless unit. The four glass boxes are collectively known as The Ledge.
The original architects Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) designed The Ledge as enclosed glass boxes which retract into the building.
Halcrow Yolles, experts in international structural glass design, took the design a step further by eliminating all perimeter structural steel at the sides and along the floor of the glass enclosures and creating a near-invisible support system.
The Tower is a major attraction in Chicago today.
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