Structural Glass Applications for Commercial Buildings

IQs bespoke structural glass applications on commercial properties nationally.  

What is Structural Glass? 

double height structural glass facade on museum in somerset

The term structural glass is a wide-reaching product term used to describe a frameless glass assembly where the glass is taking an element of the structural load. The structural load that the glass is designed to take will depend on the location and purpose of the glass element. 

Structural glazing has properties which are integral to the design and structure of a property. These applications are varied in configurations based on the design purpose, large structural glass fenestration can be configured in a way where it holds structural bearing for itself, without the need for any visible framing. For areas which need integral support, there are various types of support to be used with oversized glazing panels as well as roof glazing applications.  

Find out how to specify bespoke structural glass applications here…

uks largest showroom features double height structural glazed facadeDifferent Structural Glass Systems 

Structural glazing comes in varied forms based on the design applications, structural glass walls and floors and roof glazing can be  

Structural glass is the perfect solution for wide glass elevations as it combines the elegant frameless aesthetic that IQ’s structural glazing is renowned for while offering thermal insulation levels expected from modern fenestration. 

Structural glass can be used for roof glazing as part of a glass link, a glass extension or to create a fully glazed roof to a space. Overhead glazing is one of the best solutions when the aim of the design is to increase the influx of natural light with a building, as the light can penetrate straight down into the room below. Glass roofs are ideal for spaces that may have restrictions due to neighbouring properties meaning windows in the walls are not possible, therefore the best way of drawing light into the space is from above. 


Structural Glass Applications in Hotels and Restaurants  bespoke structural glazing solution supplied to large commercial building

IQ’s dedicated team have worked on a wide variety of hospitality projects, using frameless and minimally framed glazing to enhance the advanced hospitality design and work with the newest commercial design trends.    

Natural light has many benefits for people both physical and mental, including aiding a better night’s sleep and reducing stress. These benefits can help to ensure any hotel or restaurant guests have a pleasant experience. 

Using bespoke structural glazing for hotels appeals to the varying complexity of modern and traditional hospitality design, systems that enhance the natural appearance as well as integrate practicality with opening elements.  

large structural glass elevation for commercial propertyMarquis of Cornwallis  

This Suffolk located Hotel, Restaurant, and bar features bespoke structural glass applications with specified opening elements. Frameless fixed effect structural glazing configurations were installed into various parts of Marquis of Cornwallis to create structural glass walls and entranceways to the traditional hotel; these installations allow for natural light to infill into the space.  

Gable-style structural glazing installations were featured throughout the commercial property, creating a rhythm in the style of glazing, appealing to the traditional style of the building which creates a seamless combination of contemporary and traditional architectural styles.   


Dog and badger specialist glass manifestation on structural glazing application

Structural glass boxes are a timeless glazing solution for hotels and restaurant projects. IQ supplied and installed a bespoke structural glazing package for Marlow based restaurant and bar, the grade II listed building required special considerations with glazing systems and connections to the existing fabric of the building.  

Structural glazing was used to create a glass entranceway to create a lobby into the luxury restaurant and bar. Structural glazing is typically the best solution for listed buildings due to the lack of framing, taking away from the listed fabric of the commercial property, the joining techniques were designed by IQ to be the least invasive support systems.  

Glazed extensions for hotels and restaurants need many considerations, and IQ Projects’ extensive portfolio showcases our expertise in this area. 


Structural Glass Facades for Museums  

Structural glazing solutions are an ideal solution for any gallery or museum applications due to the purpose of the glazing, typically showcasing historic artefacts or priceless pieces of art. When specifying glazing for museums and galleries low iron and anti-reflective glazing is recommended to create an ultra-clear experience for viewers.  

Glazing for museums can be specified as internal or external based on the purpose, whether to incase artefacts or create large structural glass facades for the exterior of the building. When specifying structural glazing for external elevations for galleries or museums, specialist interlayers should be considered due to the reduction of UV radiation that can travel through the glazing, protecting internal properties such as paintings, flooring, and furniture.  

large glazing package supplied and installed to commercial property in somersetStory of the Gardening Museum  

The Story of Gardening Museum is a great example of where structural glass facades were used to complement the surrounding elements. Frameless glass facades were used from ceiling to floor to conceal descending heights. Using oversized glazing for hotels in secluded areas calls for the consideration of how the design can implicate the natural surroundings.  

The frameless glass focused design used 30mm connections which were designed with specialist porcelain capping that blended into the exterior design of the space. These oversized panes were accompanied by slim framed opening elements to create seamless transitions to multifunctional areas, this allows for the users to explore the space with no boundaries, something which is becoming an increasingly popular commercial design trend for hotels and hospitality projects. 


Listed Buildings with Structural Glass Elements 

Structural glazing applications are typically more sought after for historical or heritage buildings due to the subtle nature of the design, allowing for direct views through to the listed fabric of the building. British architecture is something which is preserved due to the vast architectural heritage of the buildings in the UK.  

Structural glazing solutions have specialist connections which have been created to preserve the natural fabric of the non-dwelling. IQ have in-depth knowledge of what is needed to retain the original design and elements of the building.  

untitled design 23Chichley Hall Structural Glass Box

Chichley hall is a 16th-century listed coach house in Newport Pagnell, featuring a 23m long structural glass roof to glass box extension with opening elements. The glazing was specified to have low iron and anti-reflective glazing to comply with the building regulations and keep in line with the tradition of the non-dwelling. Glass manifestations were incorporated into the structural glass design to ensure the safety of visitors. These glass manifestations were to represent the Royal Society. 

This glass box was designed in a faceted design to make the new extension curved in appearance, creating a protruding structure allowing for more interior space. The structural supports were designed to mimic a traditional arched design which was covered in a kiln-dried oak. ​Using wood that had been through a kiln drying process allows this specialist method to be suitable and durable, ensuring the wooden beams do not warp or expand due to moisture or heat. ​ 


Modern Office Designs with Structural Glass  

curved structural glass facade solution with thermal breakTontine Street 

IQ Projects designed specialist glazing solutions for this specialist four-storey curved façade on a commercial building in Kent. The building was designed to mimic a wave which would continue higher into the building, extending to the curved balustrade which was implemented to create a safety barrier for the office recreational rooftop.  

This type of facade system can often be compared to curtain walling but there are significant differences between these two glazing solutions. IQs structural glazing system allows for higher capabilities of bespoke and complex designs, with pane sizes being no obstacle. Curved structural glass panes and triple-glazed facades can be specified using the Invisio system by combining different fixing and profile options. Curtain wall systems are non-structural cladding systems that are designed for the purpose of load bearing but not integrated into the structure of the building. 


Borough High Street untitled design 22

This Specialist project featured a large structural glass extension to the terraced area of the commercial space. Some of these rooftop designs are enclosed, often with large glass boxes or glass roofs, allowing them to be used come wind, rain or shine, and some spaces are designed to be completely open to give the space a strong connection to the outdoors, something proven to help people feel more relaxed.    

These Central London offices have been transformed with the installation of IQ’s structural glazing and slim framed sliding glass doors.   


large floating glass meeting room in

Sky House Structural Glass Showroom

There are numerous structural glazing applications available to view here at the IQ showroom, including, structural glass facades, rooflights, walk-on floor lights, glass balustrades, oriel windows and a fully cantilevered floating glass box.  

One incredibly unique element of the IQ showroom is the floating glass meeting room. This structural glass box was constructed and completed from structural glazing and sits suspended off a mezzanine floor level. The bespoke glass meeting room can hold up to eight people with ease, along with a meeting room table and chairs. Our architectural glazing showroom is the largest of its kind in the UK and showcases an extensive array of glazing solutions. 



Come and see the space for yourself by booking your visit to the IQ Glass Showroom in Amersham. We are happy to arrange general visits for architects or specifiers wanting to see the space. We can also organize CPD seminar sessions at Sky House for those wanting to make an event of the visit.    

Click here to book your visit or contact the team on 01494 722 880.

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Chloe Thompson

After completing her undergrad degree in Interior design, Chloe decided to join the architectural glazing industry and now works on social media strategies, writes content and manages the day to day marketing for IQ's commercial division.

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