The Glass Lantern

Eckersley O'Callaghan as Architects

The minimal architectural form of the Apple Zorlu Glass Lantern is a result of the purest structural approach possible given the limits of material fabrication today. Side walls of glass, each 10m long x 3m high in single panels, support a seamless carbon fibre reinforced plastic (cfrp) roof panel. The use of single panels of glass meant that each could be supported on just two points which helped accommodate the deflection of the supporting structure below and provided stiff shear walls for the transfer of seismic loads. The cfrp roof was fabricated in three sections, lightweight and easily transported and lifted into place. This lightness was a further advantage in seismic load transfer, allowing a lighter, more transparent glass supporting structure with less fixings. The panels could be joined and finished on site to give a seamless surface on both the exterior and the interior.


The roof is astonishingly thin, at 210mm in the centre and 60mm at the edges. The mould surface was pre-cambered to take account of calculated deflections, downwards in the centre and upwards at the corners, to ensure the best possible reflections on the underside and good water runoff on the top surface.

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