Glass-Load Bearing Structure
The new pavilion of the technical college for glass in Rheinbach was conceived as a space for seminars and congresses and as a “walk-in showcase” for exhibitions. The eight glass boxes that form the facade function as display cabinets and as supporting columns for the roughly 500 m2 roof. The walls of the boxes consist of two protective outer layers of partially toughened safety glass and a load-bearing intermediate layer of toughened glass. Standard sheet sizes of 1.25 x 3.70 m were used. The compression loads are transmitted to the ground via special shoe elements. Longitudinal and lateral bracing is achieved by the rigid fixing of the columns in the floor slab. The 28-tonne roof appears to hover over the exhibition area. Cantilevered out by 2.5 m on all sides, the large steel girder grid provides shading in summer, when the central area of the pavilion is turned into a glazed lecture hall. The only openings in the roof are the skylights over the glass boxes. The light in the exhibition spaces reflects the time of day and the changing weather conditions outside.