Queens of glass awarded

The two Greek researchers from the Glass Construction group (Faculties of Architecture and Civil Engineering) received the Innovation Award for Outstanding Innovation of the Society of Façade Engineering in London last week.

A builder's break (Photo: Ronald van der Poppe)
A builder's break (Photo: Ronald van der Poppe)

Telesilla Bristogianni (left) and Faidra Oikonomopoulou (right) won the Innovation Award at the SFE 2016 competition with the glass façade of the Chanel shop in the PC Hooftstraat in Amsterdam. They received the prize on behalf of their team which included their supervisors Dr. Fred Veer (Faculty of Architecture), their Professor Rob Nijsse (Faculties of Architecture and Civil Engineering) and technician Kees Baardolf. The 10 by 12-metre façade of the 'Crystal House' was designed by MVRDV Architects.

Barely back in Delft, the Greek glass queens are still a bit in awe that their small university crew has won this competition where the world's greatest and largest façade engineering companies present their work. What made their work stand out was the structural use of cast glass instead of panes. "Most people think of glass as sheets, for us glass is 3D," said Oikonomopoulou. They added that it was the first time in the prize's history that the Innovation Award was adjudged unanimously with seven of seven votes.

The jury appreciated the extraordinary level of precision that was maintained throughout the construction. The tolerance was 0.25 millimetre in the glass bricks and only 2 millimetres over the entire height (10 metres). Both researchers have been on-site for seven months to supervise the construction.

The world may have just become aware of the structural use of glass, but the researchers in the structural mechanics' group continue their work towards glass columns, glass Lego bricks and a glass bridge to the Green Village. The innovation of 3D glass may have been recognised, but it is also still very much in progress.

Faidra Oikonomopoulou (left) and Telesilla Bristogianni last week in London (photographer unknown)
Faidra Oikonomopoulou (left) and Telesilla Bristogianni last week in London (photographer unknown)