Textile composites aren’t just durable, they can be incredibly aesthetically-pleasing. Thanks to their endless characteristics of flexibility, GFRC and GFRP are two of the most sought-after (and cost effective!) materials used by innovative architects today.
Let’s take a look at four of the most notable buildings that feature textile composites.
Heydar Aliyev Center
Zaha Hadid, the architect of the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan, is no stranger to composite materials. This building, one of her most notable, houses an auditorium, gallery hall, and museum and was designed to mimic the natural topography of the area. Hadid used GFRC (glass fiber reinforced concrete) and GFRP (glass fiber reinforced plastic) as cladding materials for the building’s façade specifically because they were flexible enough to form undulations, bifurcations, and thousands of curved lines. To date, the building is one of the most renowned examples of contemporary architecture in Azerbaijan.
Currently under construction in Miami, this skyscraper – also designed by Zaha Hadid – will rise 62 stories when complete. It will also have the honor of being the first building in the U.S. to utilize a GFRC outer shell as its permanent framework. The material is being installed in pieces (over 4,800 of them), curved to represent the waves of the ocean. This design also allows the interior to stand with fewer columns. Because it will be one of the tallest buildings in all of Miami when opened, residents are understandably excited to see the cutting-edge project come to fruition.
This contemporary art museum in downtown L.A. was designed to have a “honeycomblike” exterior. The outer shell of the building filters daylight into the indoor space with the help of over 2,500 rhombus-shaped panels made of fiberglass reinforced concrete. Unlike 1000 Museum, The Broad is also supported by a steel substructure. It opened to much fanfare in 2015.
Though a temporary construction, Bjarke Ingles’ The Canyon made a big splash when it opened in London’s Serpentine Gardens late last year. The open-air pavilion, constructed to over 45-feet tall using over 1,800 stacked fiberglass “boxes,” has been described as a “wall that turns into a hall.” It’s meant for meandering through, sitting upon, and allowing air and light to flow, but it was also built to withstand the heavy rains of an English summer.
B&W Fiberglass is looking forward, too. Our solutions are about more than just raw materials, they’re about advancing the science of glass fibers. We look forward to partnering with more developers and architects to create beautiful, structurally sound buildings in the near future.
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