Mindbending Mall Features 804 Curved Glass Window Panes

By: | December 9th, 2013

The architect says the design "drags people" inside.  Photo © Steen & Ström Sverige AB

The architect says the design "drags people" inside. Photo © Steen & Ström Sverige AB

In Malmö, Sweden, the developers of Emporia decided to give an architecture firm a $390,000,000 construction budget to work with, resulting in a 2,228,130 square foot mammoth of a mall. Emporia is a three-story mall, equipped with a supermarket, office space, and residential units but the features inside the mall pale in comparison to the structure itself.

Vibrant blue and amber colored glass entrances, serpentine surfaces, and curved glass walls encompass Emporia’s 27,857 square feet of surface area. Perhaps the most eye-catching aspect of Emporia is the curved glass of which all 804 window panes were individually designed and manufactured with complex curvature intricacies, ensuring a smooth and breathtaking surface.

The curved glass went through extensive testing in order to make sure each pane met all the mechanical tolerances. By heating glass sheets to 540 °C, the window panes were allowed to gradually slump to unique shapes under their own individual weights.

From there, molds, digital scans, and 3D data provided the information needed to take the newly-shaped glass to its final form and to being displayed on the outside of Emporia.

While many of the glass panes were laminated with blue or amber colored plastic films, the color of some of the glass varies as the sun hits Emporia, creating a psychedelic surface that is sure to attract the eyes of potential shoppers.

Although Emporia is currently open to the public, only about one quarter of the project is complete. Expect more structures to rival the magnificence of the mall in the very near future.

Technology, engineering, and design enthusiast.

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