How to Create a Floating Roof Design with Architectural Glass

Floating Roof Design: A Clever Structural Design Technique

A floating corner on a residential extension
A floating corner on a residential extension.

Modern architectural design often seems to defy the laws of physics, using cantilevering building structures and floating elements of constriction seemingly unsupported. Architectural Glass is often used to help accentuate the appearance of ‘floating’ in architectural designs by creating a transparent structure below.

These structural elements do not completely ‘float’, instead they employ clever structural design techniques to cantilever or offset any supporting elements required.

 

Using Slim Sliding Glass Doors:

A popular architectural glazing option for a floating roof design is to use sliding doors that move away from a corner, leaving no support or visible structure in its wake, giving the appearance that the roof above is ‘floating’.

The opening corner at Richmond creates the illusion that the roof is floating
The opening corner at Richmond creates the illusion that the roof is floating.

This recent project in Richmond used this architectural glazing option to create their floating roof, which was a key aspect of their architectural design.

Here minimal windows sliding glass doors from IQ Glass were used as glazed walls on two sides of the rear extension. They slide away from the corner connection leaving no supporting structure or framing in their path, creating the appearance that the roof above is simply floating on top of the glass.

These types of slim framed sliding glass doors have a very minimal live load deflection tolerance (+/-5mm) so proper structural calculations for the cantilevered roof design need to be undertaken.

Structural glass created the appearance that this large cantilevered roof is floating
Structural glass created the appearance that this large cantilevered roof is floating.

Using Frameless Structural Glass:

Another option for creating a floating roof design is to use frameless structural glazing wrapped around the corner, below the solid roof structure. Here the structural glass can either cover any corner supporting posts or sit below a cantilevered roof design.

Fixed glazing can take a slightly larger live load deflection than slim framed sliding glass doors which is why a fixed corner was used on this impressive cantilevered floating roof design on a Cotswolds house.

You can see more examples of ‘Floating Roof’ Designs here at our Pinterest board.

 

Contact IQ Glass if you have any questions about using architectural glazing on your own project. Call us on 01494 722880 or email hello@iqglassuk.com.

 

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Rebecca is Head of Marketing at the IQ Group and has worked in glazing specification for many years. She has a broad range of technical knowledge about all our glazing products and offers technical advice and guidance to architects for specification. Her easy to digest technical advice is often quoted in magazines and publications. You might also recognise her as one of the IQ Glass CPD presenters.

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