The transparent glass gymnasium designed and executed by Marvel Glass Pvt. Ltd., is a take-off from the much larger Beijing National Stadium or ‘BirdsNest’ though with the second skin of PTA membrane instead of glass as used in this project.
The gymnasium catering to 300 luxury apartment complex,Balaji Windpark, at Vaishavdevi circle, Ahmedabad is formed of curved and flat laminated glasses, suspended from mild steel ribs as a complete enclosure to create a shell. The entire form is supported on a slab on a column with a cyclic staircase providing access to the gym.Additional safety laminated glass floor was provided to rest gym equipment and as an actual glass floor inside the structure.
Special provisions were made to ensure structural strength with respect to live load and wind load, heat protection through diffused sunlight from the roof and glass alignment to avoid any water leakage. The air vent cut-outs for hot air release adequate air circulation inside the enclosure and structurally sound glass floor absorbs dead load and jumping load.
The design-build included on desk designing, metal support detailing, steel templates for glass form and dimensioning, glass processing, glass installation, sealant application and overall aesthetics.
Many of the glasses not only curved in different radius on individual axis but were also twisted in plane. Thus,while aligning with the adjacent glass which curved indifferent radii, challenge was to accurately align achieving precision in millimeters to ensure butt joints which will beleakage proof.
The curved safety glasses were made in factory and fitted individually at site. The glass panels are supported on only two edges and each panel weighs as high as 300 kg.For each glass panel a steel template is made cross braced to prevent distortion of template before it reaches the glass factory. Highly skilled labour was involved to install glasses of 300 kg, supported only on two edges not allowing any damage while handling and with hardly any platform for workers to stand.
As the glasses turn and enclose the form below the floors lab, the task of glass installation becomes even more difficult because at some places, there is hardly 6” gap between the glass panel and the slab, space (not enough for human handless apart someone to stand and install). Not to forget the fact that each glass is customized and prone to extreme risk of scratches, edge chipping or cracking while installing.