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"Avant-garde" Application of Curved Glass Curtain Wall

"Avant-garde" Application of Curved Glass Curtain Wall
Issue Time:2018-08-20


"Avant-garde" Application of Curved Glass Curtain Wall


At Santa Monica Beach in Los Angeles, there is a huge ball "floating" on the sea not far from the trestle. The ball is silver-white, the outer skin is wrapped in a glass curtain wall, and the sparkling light is mapped onto the curtain wall. Together with California's blue and white and vast expanse of the sea, it forms a beautiful landscape.


So what exactly is this huge glass ball? In fact, this is a clear orb device designed by a Korean team of designers for the 2016 land art generator initiative, located in Los Angeles, California. The Santa Monica area is a 40-meter-diameter glass sphere that desalinates seawater into fresh water and powers the urban grid. It is an infrastructure that is consistent with the concept of sustainable development.


The design members involved in clearorb are jaesik lim, ahyoung lee, jaeyeol kim and taegu lim. The clear orb device looks like it floats on the sea. Its upper part is made up of a translucent curved glass curtain wall that refracts the surrounding area. The natural landscape, the lower part of the mirror-like surface is also shining in the sun. At night, the light effect makes this glass ball like a blue night pearl rising from the sea. In addition, there is a plank road directly connected to the device from Santa Monica Beach, and it is an underwater passage through which people can enter the bottom of the sphere. The outer wall of this “Contemplative Road” acts as a wave power generator. The function, together with the original breakwater, displays a series of endangered animals inside, allowing people to think about how humans should live in harmony with nature.



The surface of the sphere consists of a transparent, luminescent solar concentrator that provides energy to the internal water circulation. The interior of the sphere has a solar evaporator that produces fresh water by evaporation and condensation. The desalinated water falls directly into the fountain below, which is also an artistic interpretation of the meaning of light and water for life. The oscillating water column wave power unit flows along the 300-meter “Contemplative Road” to the end of the sea facing side, providing additional power to the solar distillation pump and the urban grid.


The clear orb installation is part of the 2016 land art generator initiative - an international design competition platform that provides designers with an opportunity to reflect on the nature of the energy infrastructure and the possibilities of architectural forms. It is worth mentioning that the annual output of solar distillation of the clear orb device is 3,820 mwh and 2.2 million liters of drinking water.


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