October 11, 2015

How to Incorporate Oversized Glass in your Design

Written by Rebecca Clayton

Garden Museum

Using oversized glazing on architectural projects helps to create that instant ‘wow’ factor for a design. Modern glass technology has now expanded contemporary design capabilities, providing architectural solutions and still maintaining a slim and modern profile.

Oversized glass units are now available in massive sizes of over 20m tall in a single unit.

5m tall slim framed sliding doors 5m tall sliding glass doors to the entrance of the Story of Gardening Museum at The Newt, Somerset.

This advance in glass design and technology provides innovative possibilities for architects to create and design something striking and different. Using large panels of glass minimises the use of structural elements creating a seamless glass façade, perfect to take advantage of stunning views.

There are various ways you can incorporate oversized glass into your project. Please see below for some examples of how you can incorporate oversized glazing into your project:


Oversized Glass Walls

The beauty of structural glazing is that there are no maximum sizes.

Glass walls can be designed with glass units of any size required. With 20m long units of glass available, you could create a glass wall from a single pane of glazing.

5m tall frameless glass wall to museum A Museum of the Garden. The Museum is set underground with one elevation opening onto the adjacent woodland.

On this recent project in Somerset, IQ created a large glass wall with 5m tall frameless structural glass units. The glass wall formed part of The Story of Gardening museum, part of the renovated Hadspen Estate (now called The Newt in Somerset).

The glass specification and fixing details were designed and engineered specifically for this project. All fixing details were designed to be hidden by the building finishes, creating a large glass wall that is completely frameless.


6m tall sliding doors on Portland Road 6m tall sliding doors on Portland Road

Oversized Sliding Glass Doors

You can also achieve that oversized glass design with opening doors too. Sliding doors can offer you impression double height glass doors because the opening glass door is always supported at the base and head within the frame.

On Portland Road, we installed a set of impressive 6m tall sliding glass doors. The oversized sliding door was based on our minimal windows sliding door profile. We engineered the head, base and junction profiles to allow the sliding doors to be installed to span over two floors of the building.

Another similar project example is Kingston Road. Here we installed a 3-track slim sliding door at 4.5m tall. The double height sliding door went from floor to ceiling of the double height kitchen and living space, providing light to the mezzanine level.

4.5m tall sliding glass doors to kitchen extension 4.5m tall sliding glass doors on the Kingston Road House Extension


5m tall frameless glass window Double height frameless glass window at Cuddington Mill

Oversized Frameless Windows

Cuddington Mill is a great example of an oversized frameless window. The double-height window was part of a mill renovation project. A new partially glazed structure was used to connect the existing barn to the new contemporary wing of the property. The double-height frameless glass window brought lots of light into this connection space.

Kew Road is a traditional townhouse with a new glass extension to the rear of the property.

The glazed extension was multi-faceted using a variety of glazing products including slim framed sliding doors and frameless structural glazing.

Spanning from the ground floor to basement, the glass extension included an impressive oversized frameless window in one single pane. This shaped unit of structural glazing connected the ground floor kitchen to the basement living areas, bringing light into both areas and the bespoke glass stairwell.

oversized window to glass extension Double height frameless window to Kew Road glass extension


Oversized Pivot Windows

These large windows can create a really impressive design to extensions or new build properties. The Bevel Extension is a great example of an oversized pivot opening window within a contemporary side infill extension.

oversized pivot window Oversized Pivot Window on the Bevel Extension. Photo credit French + Tye

The large pivot window was created using our Vitra Pivot system, with thermally broken aluminium frames and a double glazed unit. The large window here was approximately 2.2m wide by 2.6m tall.

The Vitra Pivot is available up to 2.4m wide to create even larger pivoting openings. An alternative pivot solution would be the Sieger Lux Pivot which is available at 5m tall.


5m tall bifolding doors The Sieger Super Lux Bifold - available up to 5m tall.

Oversized Bifold Doors

The industry typical maximum size for a bi-folding door is 3m tall.

If you want an oversized bi-fold door there are limited options that are thermally broken or suitable for external use.

The Sieger Super Lux Bifold door is the exception and is available in opening bifold door sets of up to 5m tall. It is based on our very popular Sieger Lux Bifold which offers the slimmest sightlines on the marketing of 74mm (across both bi-folding panes).

By integrating a sliding wind post between each bi-folding lead, we can increase the maximum size of the bi-folding doors to create oversized bifold openings of up to 5m tall.


Further Reading

Double Height Extensions on Narrow London Properties

Double Height Lightwells and Sliding Glass Doors

Introducing the Largest Double Glazed Unit in the World


What Next

If you are interested in including Oversized Glazing on your own architectural project just get in touch with the team at IQ. We can help advise on solutions, glass specification, performance, and typical details. We can also give you an overview of what will be possible for your specific project requirements.

Visit the Contact us page for all the ways you can get in touch with us.