In 1962, sculptor Henk Freeling added a couple of sculptures with faces from the Disney world to this Gothic church. What was controversial then is now an attraction, even though the subjects of the controversy are 60 metres above ground on one of the towers. Now, in order to allow people to admire them, the tower has been fitted with two glass balconies from which curious visitors can view the works of art.
Architects: Nijhuis architectuur Location: Arnheim (NL)
The two glass balconies have been extended in the course of a large renovation project for the church. One of the balconies is on the east side of the church, the other on the west. The east and west balconies are respectively 59 and 62 metres above ground level. An elevator that had already been installed to raise visitors to the height of the array of bells also provides access to the balconies. Both balconies are made completely of glass; only two steel supports run under the glass floor plate so that stepping onto the transparent surface does not represent too much of a test of courage. In terms of both construction and statics, the two small structures were not easy to create. Neither one of them is a simple box featuring right angles; rather, all the surfaces have been cut obliquely. Even the roof has a longitudinal slope to shed rainwater. Like the side walls, it consists of laminated glass panes measuring 3 x 10 mm. Between the panes, spaces 2 cm wide prevent the formation of moisture from condensation. The floor is made of 4 laminated glass panes, each of which is 12 mm thick. These lie on the abovementioned steel supports which have been hung from the tower. In addition, a steel frame has been set between the stone corner pillars of the historical tower, which are luckily strong enough to support the new loads.
Strong winds meant that the fitting of the two balconies had to be postponed several times. Since the beginning of the year, they have been in place and now give the Arnhem skyline a special touch.