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GLASS XL: More glass enables bigger ideas

A new range of extra large glazing solutions will allow designers to make bold design statements in single movements

Using extra large glass enables architect to make a powerful announcement. A famous example of this is a 9,75m (32ft) glass cube on New York’s Fifth Avenue. Use of oversized glass is characterised by overall smoothness, greater simplicity and technical mastery. It allows designers and architects to maximize the design potential of the project, while using an ordinary material.

GLASS XL relies on brand new industrial equipment at Saint-Cobain’s Austrian plant, and it is applied to a wide range of existing products and systems. All existing Solar Control glass, Insulating Units, Tempered Glass, Laminated Glass and Design Glass are now available in the brand new oversized format, allowing for the same performance but in supersized dimensions.

With maximum size of 8 x 3.3 meters, the units from GLASS XL are some of the largest available in the world. At the end of 2012, the complete range of architectural glass products from Saint-Gobain will be available in XL sizes. For context, 8 meters is the length of an adult killer whale while 3.3 meters is taller than a single storey building.

Oversized glass is increasingly used for building retrofitting, where one pane of glass can cover two or three entire floors. This minimises framing work and allows for a seamless façade. In other renovation applications, oversized glass can be used to cover an existing structure, thus making it a special feature of any architectural design.

Historically, extensive glazing has been used in modern architecture where transparency is a key feature. Undisturbed views have become crucial for building occupants and provide a different appeal compared with traditional frames. GLASS XL’s oversize products open a new chapter in how architects can use glazing to mediate between interior and exterior.

Oversized glass also offers fantastic design possibilities for ground floor, entrance, lobby glazing and double height spaces. In the retail sector, the use of large glass panels enables the whole length of a building to be used as a giant display case, giving more flexibility in the positioning of items in an uninterrupted display.

Oversized glass offers new possibilities for designers and architects willing to innovate and create something genuinely striking and different.