Design and Engineering of a Dry Assembled Glass Block Pedestrian Bridge
Inspired by the glass masonry technique developed by the TU Delft Glass and Transparency Lab for the Crystal House in Amsterdam, a 14 meter span pedestrian bridge is envisioned, also consisting of cast glass elements. In contrast to the Crystal House project that employs an adhesively bonded glass block system, here dry assembly of the glass elements is proposed to allow for a demountable structure. To achieve this, a constant compression force is introduced in the bridge through its arch-shape. This compression force and a special interlocking geometry of the blocks will ensure the stability of the structure, like a medieval stone arch. The paper will discuss the exploratory design and engineering leading up to the construction of the first 3 meter span mock-up. This includes studies on the visual appearance of the bridge, studies on the glass block geometry, calculations on stresses in the glass elements, experiments on force transfer through dry-connected elements and mould design for casting of the complex geometries of the glass elements.