The adhesively-bonded glass brick system of the Qaammat Pavilion in Greenland: From research to realization

F. Oikonomopoulou*, T. Bristogianni, M. van der Velden, Konstantin Ikonomidis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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An adhesively bonded, solid-glass brick pavilion has been designed by Konstantin Arkitekter as a landmark within the Aasivissuit – Nipisat UNESCO heritage in Greenland. The sculptural glass structure, measuring approximately 3.2 m in diameter × 2 m in height, faces a diverse set of engineering challenges compared to existing adhesively bonded glass brick structures. Placed in a remote location in the arctic circle, it has to withstand winter temperatures as low as -35 °C, and be built under a limited budget with the aid of the local population. Hence, key for the successful construction of the pavilion is finding an adhesive that satisfies the structural and aesthetic requirements of the project and simultaneously provides a simple and fast construction that spares the need for specialized building crew and sophisticated equipment, and is able to withstand the polar winter temperatures. Applicability and shear tests in (i) lab temperature conditions and (ii)) -5 °C lead to the final selection of: (a) 3M™ Scotch-Weld™ Polyurethane Adhesive DP610, which has a higher shear strength capacity, 1 mm gap filling capacity and is clear in colour, for bonding the bottom rows of the pavilion where higher strength is required due to the reduced overlapping of the bricks; and of (b) DOWSIL Experimental Fast Curing Adhesive developed by Dow Silicones Belgium particularly for this project, with a satisfactory shear strength, 3 mm gap filling capacity and white colour for the rest of the pavilion; its considerably larger gap filling capacity facilitates the ease of assembly as it can accommodate within the joint thickness the anticipated ± 1.5 mm standard size deviations of the soda-lime cast glass solid bricks and the possible accumulated deviations during construction. The paper further describes the application of the adhesive, first on a small-scale prototype, and then on site, and presents the encountered engineering and logistical challenges during the construction of the pavilion in Greenland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalArchitecture, Structures and Construction
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • cast glass
  • glass bricks
  • glass structure
  • structural glass
  • Greenland
  • glass architecture
  • adhesive bonding


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