how do you put a super-graphic on the facade of a 34 level tower?

So you’ve come up with this great idea to superimpose an image of the Brisbane River on the facade of a 34 level tower. Now… the hell do you do it?

Not that easily actually. During Design Development, we decided we would use a ceramic frit pattern on the glass to create the image. The frit pattern would give a solid appearance to the glass panels, these combined over the face of the building to form a large pixelated image of the river. To further emphasize the image we changed the colour of the glass to be clear, contrasting with the green DGU (Double Glazed Unit) panels adjacent to it. The final touch was to remove our horizontal sunshading devices where the graphic was to appear, to let the river pattern flow across the facade.

Now the tricky bit. A Double Glazed Facade Unit is made up of 2 sheets of glass with an air gap. The numbering of surfaces goes from 1 to 4. 1 being the outside surface (exterior of the building) and 4 the inside surface (Interior of the building) . Typically the Ceramic Frit pattern is applied to surface 2 or 3. The problem with this, is the pattern gets lost behind the glass, it becomes green in appearance due to the natural colour of glass. What we ended up doing is something a lot more sophisticated and expensive. It’s called a Triple Glazed Unit. Two sheets of glass make up a laminated panel using low iron glass, there is an air gap and then a 4th sheet of glass. Confused yet? I would be too if I was reading this. I’m hoping my crude little sketch will explain things better. Low iron glass is an ultra clear glass and because of this the pattern appears clear on the facade. We will see over the next few months if our assumptions are correct, but what we have reviewed of mock-up panels and the panels on site, everything is looking good!

180 Brisbane is a 6 Star Green Star commercial office building located in Ann Street, Brisbane. If you would like to know more about 180B, I would be happy to explain the Concepts behind the Design.

180b frit

180B axo view

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