A University of Huddersfield student has reimagined some of the UK and Ireland’s most famous buildings in glass to help a local company promote the benefits of using structural glass in building projects.

Sam Ball, in the final year of his BA in Graphic Design and Animation, has worked with Huddersfield’s Specialist Glass Products (SGP) to produce eye-catching 3D renditions of how the Houses of Parliament, Holyrood House, Leeds Corn Exchange, Dublin Cathedral and Conwy Castle would look if they were constructed from glass.

Having seen an increase in interest in and searches for glass architecture on the web, SGP will use Sam’s designs to promote the sustainability and eco-friendliness of the material.

Using an open-source software called Blender, Sam met their challenging brief of reproducing five historic buildings in glass and answered some tough questions that the process posed.

“Initially they wanted the House of Parliament in glass panes, but the gothic nature of the building made that difficult so I settled for pure glass instead,” says Sam. “I 3D modelled it in glass, applied a glass texture and then Photoshopped it.”

To give his buildings depth, Sam manipulated Blender so he could look ‘down’ on his buildings in an exploded view from above.

“There were a few teething issues, the biggest difficulty was working out what would be ‘behind’ the front photo of the Houses of Parliament. I had to resort to Google Maps to see what was there, then went for the more opaque, translucent look which meant I could Photoshop it without having to reproduce the whole background. The top-down Viewport view reveals the building so I could do a 3D view from a certain angle.”

Andrew Taylor, managing director at SGP, explains, “The use of toughened and bomb-proof glass in the design of The House of Parliament would withstand bomb blast performance requirements and provide greater security from severe weather and durability in elevated temperatures; an essential feature to protect against the UK’s widespread changes in climate.

“When initially working on this campaign, we found it hard to find someone who could grasp the idea and potential we aimed for. We were in contact with multiple design agencies, but nobody came back with an effective solution.

“Working with Sam was a breath of fresh air. He grasped the creative brief from the offset and developed proofs within days. The quality was outstanding, and the images themselves represented exactly what we had imagined. He was highly professional and a pleasure to work with.

“We would recommend businesses getting in touch with the University of Huddersfield with opportunities you may usually seek via LinkedIn and advertising, as a talented student may be looking for that kind of experience for their portfolio – and they are extremely professional!

“As a manufacturing business in Huddersfield, it is important to us that we support the local community and are committed to the local economy, with the majority of employees recruited from the local area. So, it made sense to get in touch with the university to work with budding talent and help support the next generation’s future when finding the right person for the job.”

SGP’s portfolio includes installations at prestigious locations such as the Shard, the Gherkin, King’s Cross Station, Sage Gateshead and Wembley Stadium.