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The Challenge of Optical Distortion in Architectural Glass

Glass is arguably the principal material in most building facades, fulfilling a range of aesthetic and technical functions. Drawing from a wealth of established design guidance, standards and know-how, architects and facade engineers are accustomed to designing glazing and specifying technical performance requirements for it. However, despite this knowledge and experience, there remains a nuanced challenge: optical distortion.


Optical distortion in architectural glass.

Optical distortion refers to the irregularities and imperfections that can manifest in the appearance of glass, often resulting in visually disturbing views through glazing as well as in reflection. At Henriksen Studio we are leaders in the field of architectural glass. Addressing optical distortion has become a core focus of our practice. We've witnessed firsthand how this phenomenon can complicate projects, particularly as facade specifications can fall short in adequately addressing it.


European standards, while comprehensive in many aspects of glass performance, often overlook some of the nuances of optical distortion, such as might be found in insulated glass units comprising laminated and heat-treated glass. As a result, architects and clients may encounter unexpected challenges during construction and post-installation phases. At Henriksen Studio, we have navigated these complexities with our clients, leveraging our experience and expertise to assess the quality of glass and help resolve disputes effectively.


Our facade engineering team at Henriksen Studio understands the importance of meticulous attention to detail when it comes to architectural glass. We collaborate closely with clients, architects and glass manufacturers to ensure that projects meet the highest standards of quality and clarity. From design to installation oversight, we provide comprehensive support every step of the way.

Exciting developments are on the horizon as we prepare to publish a scientific paper, co-written with the Technical University of Delft, delving deeper into the subject of optical distortion in architectural glass. This collaboration represents a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to advance knowledge and best practices in the field.

In conclusion, optical distortion in architectural glass is a complex phenomenon that requires careful consideration and expertise to address effectively. At Henriksen Studio, we are committed to providing our clients with the highest level of support and guidance, ensuring that their projects achieve optimal clarity and visual quality. Watch this space for further insights and developments as we continue to explore and innovate in this crucial area of architectural design. Please get in touch if you would like to find out more in the meantime.

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