“The Peak” Project

The Project:

JH Glass has created a unique glazed centrepiece for a landmark residence in Queensland’s Park Ridge – an ingenious transparent glass door, spanning the width of an entire room. John Hyde, Managing Director of JH Glass, explains how this marvel was created.

This glazed floor-mounted door serves multiple purposes, including a floor, an access door, and a balustrade when opened. The inventive design pays respect to the residence’s unique character, opening right onto Park Ridge’s incredible bushland views.

Creating this hefty yet high-transmittance design required considerable vision. ‘The client was looking for something different to provide access to the entire upper floor area,’ says John. ‘To meet this challenge, we decided that the entire space should be glazed to take full advantage of the unforgettable surroundings.’ Although the client was seeking a visual point of distinction, he hadn’t yet considered suspending a glass door over the span. ‘When I mentioned the idea, he was very enthusiastic,’ John remembers. ‘He quickly realised that the entire area could be utilised when the door was closed, whereas a more conventional setup would have made a large section of the floor unusable.’

With the trapdoor design decided on, JH Glass began sourcing specialised componentry to make the ambitious scheme feasible. ‘We had planned to open and close the door via hydraulics or a worm drive, but both these options were too noisy and cumbersome for the elegant setting,’ John reveals. ‘Instead, we sourced a pair of much quieter electronic actuators to do the job.’ Precision was key. ‘We spent much time with CAD design and 3D modelling to ensure the door could fully clear the stairwell without jeopardising strength or causing safety concerns,’ John explains. ‘To add another layer of difficulty, the mechanism had to have full power backup.’

John collaborated with his friend and colleague Anthony Paul, owner/principal of SMP Consulting in Cairns, to ensure optimal functionality throughout. ‘After agreeing on exactly what we required from the project, we joined forces to hone the trapdoor design,’ he says. ‘We wanted a sharply polished appearance, like mirror-finish stainless steel.  Although I’ve seen designs with glass panels encased in a large metal perimeter frame, this is the first fully frameless operable floor panel I’m aware of.’

Hauling the massive door panel into place was a detailed and carefully planned operation. ‘As the glazed sheet weighed in at 700kg, every measurement had to be spot on,’ John recalls. ‘We used a gigantic piece of 35.52mm SG toughened laminate, which was craned in over the top of the house using the adjacent spare allotment.

‘The glass was subsequently lowered into the entertainment area onto nylon blocks located inside the main partition, then onto a jib so we could wheel it around inside,’ John continues. ‘As all the work took place well inside the building, we had to manually lift this huge sheet into position with assistance from nine people – there was simply no other option!’ One the glazing was lowered into place, attaching and perfectly aligning the custom made bracketry was the next essential step. This may sound easy in comparison, but it wasn’t. ‘The twin electronic actuators operating the door had to open and close at identical rates, because one would overload the circuit if it received more load than the other,’ John explains. ‘This situation actually occurred during installation, which we discovered using electric tongs that gave a reading of 9 amps on one side and 2 amps on the other.’ The reason was bracket misalignment.

‘When we detected the current imbalance, we removed the mounting brackets from the underside of the slab and elongated the
holes to allow for perfect alignment and thus giving us an even distribution of current,’ John remembers. ‘As every part had been
fabricated according to our CAD design, it all worked out in the end.’ The trapdoor is supported with biometric technology for maximum security and convenience. ‘We hooked up two biometric access points at the top and the bottom of the stairwell, accessible via a fob, a fingerprint, or a punch code,’ John reveals.

‘We promised to check on the project three months after completion, and I’m pleased to say it’s functioning optimally after we sorted out those teething issues with the actuators.’ JH Glass is now looking to expand on this successful project. ‘After we’d cracked the challenge of fitting the unit into a concrete rebate which was fixed into the slab, we’ve started designing similar units in the factory,’ he says. ‘But there’s a key difference – our new units feature a steel ring beam that can be cast right into the slab, then dropped straight into the floor at whatever size the client requires. ‘This modification to the original design makes things far easier for us,’ John continues.

‘During the Peak project, it was a painstaking process ensuring the glass slotted into the concrete to the millimetre. If the assembly is constructed with a steel ring beam, however, it’s spot-on every time. Having made this refinement to our manufacturing process, we’re now preparing to send similar glazed doors all around the country. Compared to the first time around, installing future units should be a cinch.’ Judging by this striking display of aesthetic and mechanical ingenuity, JH Glass’s trapdoor design is set to become a highly sought-after innovation.

Tribal Den, Port Moresby PNG

The Project

No project is too challenging for John Hyde Glass Innovation. Demonstrating their expertise, John and his team travelled to Papua New Guinea to design, manufacture and then later install this frameless glass curtain wall featuring inlayed digital graphics set within the glass and fixed using stainless steel spider fittings.

Comprised of individual panels measuring 1.8m by 2m, the team flew in expert crane drivers and vacuum lifters to set the panels into place.

The Reef Hotel Casino, Cairns QLD

The Project

The Reef Hotel Casino wanted to create a unique entry into the casino gaming area and the Architect sought consultation with Director John Hyde to discuss the possibility of incorporating a water feature along the left hand entry wall.
The outcome was 3 x 2.4m x 2.4m acrylic bubble tanks that were custom built that incorporate electronically controlled releases of air all synchronised to perform various sequences of bubbles to coincide with the LED lighting to create an amazing visual spectacle.

James Residence, Cairns QLD

The Project

The James Residence was awarded the AGGA Queensland, 2017 Domestic Over $20k Award for its custom design of the glass and stainless-steel staircase.
The project incorporated a custom designed glass floor leading into the water closet over an internal pond lined with painted spectra glass as was the pool coping and external planter boxes.
The custom glass and stainless-steel staircase with glass balustrade and glass landing was clad in mirror polished stainless steel with DMX controlled LED lighting in the treads.

Lyquid Nightlife, Cairns QLD

The Project

Featuring glass vortex columns, bubble walls and an infinity glass wall, Lyquid is a partier’s paradise. The vision for this Nightclub facility was to incorporate innovative uses of glass and LED lighting and incorporated a full liquid bar with moving LED lighting built in as well as 2m high water vortex’s and state of the art laser and lighting components.

Emporium – Level 21 Doors, Brisbane QLD

Project Description

ARCHITECT:  Ceccato Hall & Associates
BUILDER: Hutchinson Builders

The Anthony John Group engaged JH Glass Innovation to undertake (2) glazing components that would represent a first of its kind in Australia.  The components whilst inspired by glass concepts that the owner had seen overseas, had not been constructed in Australia before and that made it difficult to find a supplier.

Director of JH Glass Innovation, John Hyde undertook the challenge and delivered some amazing works of art whilst also creating new design concepts that will continue to facilitate the development of unique glass concepts in Australia. 

Level 21 Doors

The doors to be produced on Level 21 of The Emporium Hotel in Brisbane represented an expanse of 19 metres and would need to hold 600kg door leaves whilst providing reliable and functional operation for the end user as well as meeting the regulations provided by Industry.  Once complete, they would represent the largest top hung frameless sliding doors in Australia.

Design:

The challenge in the design process was in sourcing a suitable system that could carry the 600kg door leaves whilst also ensuring controlled operation.  The use of the Eposs mini crane system was chosen as the best solution as they would require little maintenance which was one of the main objectives.

The doors were designed to use 26.28 clear SG toughened laminated safety glass using custom glass hangers which were designed by the team at JH Glass Innovation to seamlessly integrate with the EPOss rollers as well as custom bottom rails and locks to ensure weather protection.

Installation:

Installation of the doors on Level 21 was made possible using a mini crawler crane with the glass doors transported to Level 21 via the lobby lift.  The doors were then attached to a vacuum lifter whilst simultaneously manoeuvring the doors into position to attach the hangers whilst at the same time ensuring a safe install for our workers.

Outcomes:

The seamless integration of the doors into the design of the rooftop bar and dining concept as well as being the largest top hung frameless sliding door system in Australia is an achievement which will assist in future applications of this medium in years to come.

Emporium – Red Wall, Brisbane QLD

Project Description

ARCHITECT:  Ceccato Hall & Associates
BUILDER: Hutchinson Builders

The Anthony John Group engaged JH Glass Innovation to undertake (2) glazing components that would represent a first of its kind in Australia. The components whilst inspired by glass concepts that the owner had seen overseas, had not been constructed in Australia before and that made it difficult to find a supplier.

Director of JH Glass Innovation, John Hyde undertook the challenge and delivered some amazing works of art whilst also creating new design concepts that will continue to facilitate the development of unique glass concepts in Australia.

Red Shard Wall Project

Design:

The Red Shard Wall project was a bespoke centrepiece consisting of 450 individual glass shards with polished edges that would form a two-level 3D glass wall effect positioned between 4 lift wells.  The key to finalizing the design was the link that the Director John Hyde was able to provide between the Architectural drawings and the custom fixtures and applications that would be required to complete.

The vibrant red colour was the discerning factor as this shard wall was located in the main lobby and Level 1 of the Emporium Hotel in Brisbane and was to be the centrepiece of the Hotel.

Achieving the vibrant red colour would be achieved via number of products and applications including,

  • Red Glass Shards which would be individually cut, polished and manually applied with a custom red film
  • Individually hand cut mirrors to accentuate the red coloured wall
  • Red silicone which was custom made
Prototype:

Unlike standard commercial glazing projects, the unique nature of the design meant that the Architectural drawings alone could not be sufficiently tested to ensure that the design could be achieved.

The project relied heavily on accurate data and laser setouts to enable the draftsman to produce millimetre accurate CAD drawings as the accuracy of the glass shards needed to be perfect due to their triangular shape and due to the design having one glass shard laid on top of another layer.

To test the design, fixtures and applications a 2.5mx1m prototype was built.  The prototype revealed certain limitations with the existing design and subsequently the design was revisited.

Installation:

During installation the team at JH Glass Innovation faced additional challenges that were unforeseen in the design process having to incorporate the 4 lift core doors as well as returning both of these walls 90 degrees down each side.

It also included the design and fabrication of custom brackets which would retain the shards whilst ensuring they were naked to the eye so as not to ruin the visual design elements.

A specialized lifting apparatus was built to assist in the installation of the shards which would secure them to the wall whilst the next pair of shards were installed.

Installation of the LED lighting provided its own challenges as the design needed to ensure easy access for the replacement should any of the lighting fail.  To do this the JH Glass Innovation team successfully amended the original design to provide maintenance access without disrupting the visual design.

Incorporating the LED lighting behind this wall proved challenging as we wanted to achieve different grades of shading with the lighting thus the reason we used downlights and the LED flex to achieve the desired red hue that distinguishes the Hotel from others.

The additions and incorporation of mirrors, polished stainless steel and the use of the red and black sealants to provide a striking edge to each individual shard further enhanced the visual impact we were trying to achieve.

Outcomes:

The final outcome of this project far exceeded the owner and JH Glass Innovations expectations in terms of design, construct and visual impact and the ongoing reviews and accolades that this bespoke lobby centrepiece has attracted demonstrates the skill and craftmanship of what can be achieved with glass and innovative thinking.

XS Night Life, Cairns QLD

Project Description

XS Night life wanted to bring a new level of sophistication to the Night life scene by providing a venue with high end finishes and special lighting effects to create the upmarket mood.

 

The Project

XS Night life wanted to bring a new level of sophistication to the Night life scene by providing a venue with high end finishes and special lighting effects to create the upmarket mood.

Design:

The design was completed between the owner Dean Cauchi and Director John Hyde who has had significant experience in the fitouts of luxury night club facilities.

Key to the vision was to use innovative high end glass and polished stainless steel finishes and special effects created by the use of LED lighting techniques.

Cobbold Gorge, Outback QLD

Project Description

ENGINEERS: CMG Consulting Engineers & Trinity Engineering

STEEL FABRICATOR: Alchemy All Metal Fabricators

BUILDER: Tom Redding

The Project

The Cobbold Gorge project represented a unique opportunity to assist with the design and construction of glass bridge to be nestled between 2 pieces of ancient rock formation gorge in a remote outback location, six hours drive west from Cairns.

The owners of the Cobbold Gorge have won numerous Awards for their Eco Tourism business where visitors can experience Queensland’s youngest gorge and wanted to continue to add to the visitor experience by offering a walk over the gorge via a glass bridge.

Design:

Given the natural formation of the gorge formation, the design and installation of this product required significant planning between the project Engineer, Fabricator, Builder and Director John Hyde to ensure the successful completion.

A glass bridge between a gorge has never been undertaken in Australia before so there were a number of design and manufacture assumptions that would need to be resolved during installation.

Installation:

Due to the remote location of the gorge and the minimal access available for standard commercial applications, the glass bridge needed to be built using (2) helicopters to lift all the steel/glass and structural components into place.

Placement of the beams onto the concrete footings using the helicopter was challenging due to the different levels of rotor wash deflecting back up of the gorge floor and this needed to be managed onsite during installation.

Installation was made more easy due to the planning and pre assembly that was completed prior to the materials being transported to site. The fabrication of an A frame style gantry system so to be able to fit a block and tackle that was manoeuvrable the full length of the bridge so it could be used to install the 120kg cross member beams and 360kg glass floor panels.