The new headquarters of one of the world's largest fashion groups features a glass curtain wall that combines the established benefits of DuPont SentryGlas® interlayer with the new architectural fabric, SEFAR® Architecture Vision, for a stunning visual effect. The facade of the new building in Madrid, Spain, constitutes the first commercial application of the Vision fabric with laminated glass in Europe. Its high compatibility with SentryGlas® provided a further reason for the specification of the DuPont interlayer for the project beyond its structural strength performance, transparency, edge stability and excellent post-breakage performance.
The overall visual effect of the glass curtain wall is that of a three dimensional checkerboard, achieved by alternating panels of clear laminated glass with panels which have SEFAR® Architecture Vision embedded within them. The woven fabric mesh is decorated with a reflective aluminum metal coating on its exterior-facing side and thereby reflects the constantly changing climatic conditions around the building.
According to architect Rafael de La-Hoz: "There is an interplay between shades and reflections that is never equal, with the dark squares of the inner skin interspersed by mirrors that seemingly vibrate with the light of the sun yet switch off when direct sunlight is lost."
Photos: © Pedro Guarddon
The overall visual effect of the glass curtain wall is that of a living, three dimensional checkerboard in perfect harmony with its direct environment. This has been achieved by alternating panels of clear laminated glass with panels which have SEFAR® Architecture Vision embedded within them. The woven fabric mesh is decorated with a reflective aluminum metal coating on its exterior-facing side and thereby reflects the constantly changing climatic conditions around the building. From the inside, the black fabric permits an almost uninhibited view of the outside world as well as appropriate room illumination.
"My idea for the project was to create a neutral, abstract facade, that at the same time comes alive with the lights and shades that change with the course of the day and the seasons of the year," explains renowned Spanish architect Rafael de La-Hoz, who designed the facade. "There is an interplay between shades and reflections that is never equal, with the dark squares of the inner skin interspersed by mirrors that seemingly vibrate with the light of the sun yet switch off when direct sunlight is lost."
All of the open-edged, laminated glass panels used to form the curtain wall are produced using SentryGlas® interlayer. Each panel measures 3440x1950 mm and consists of two layers of 8 mm low-iron tempered glass laminated with 1.52 mm SentryGlas®. The clear glass panels were produced by DuPont's alliance partner for the promotion of SentryGlas® in Spain, Vitro Cristalglass, whilst those incorporating SEFAR® Architecture Vision were produced on Vitro's behalf by Cricursa. The Swiss company Sefar AG recommends the use of its architectural fabric with laminated glass made with SentryGlas® on the basis of comprehensive tests conducted with the DuPont interlayer and PVB. "SentryGlas® achieved the best results of all lamination materials we tried with SEFAR® Architecture Vision," confirms Rouven Seidler, key account manager for architecture at Sefar AG. "SentryGlas® outperformed PVB in terms of adhesion with the fabric mesh ensuring greater moisture resistance and temperature stability for longer term durability."
As with many other architectural applications of the DuPont interlayer, the superior structural strength performance of SentryGlas® over PVB allowed a reduction in the overall weight of the laminated glass panels and for the use of an almost invisible steel support. In addition to its inherent strength, SentryGlas® offers excellent edge stability and optical properties. The open-edged panels used to form the glass curtain wall for the Madrid building will thus remain resistant to future edge discoloration caused by weathering. Moreover, SentryGlas® interlayer enhances the safety and strength of the entire installation. Its post-break strength is higher than that of PVB, and it keeps glass in place even when shattered.
SEFAR® Architecture Vision is a range of high-precision fabrics produced from black synthetic fibers. The basic product range consists of six fabrics with a mesh opening of between 25% and 70%. Vision fabrics are coated with metals by means of a sophisticated process. The metals used are aluminum, copper, chromium, titanium and gold, as well as an aluminum/copper alloy. One-sided metallic coating is used exclusively in the basic product range. The reverse side of the fabric is neutral in color. On request, both sides of the Vision fabric can be coated or with different metallic coatings on the front and reverse sides of the fabric. When used in combination with laminated glass SEFAR® Architecture Vision lends glass an unusual textile structure and reduces its hard visual quality. Up to 35 filaments per cm provides for unparalleled mirroring of the surroundings and reflection of sunlight. Alongside these design possibilities, a major feature of SEFAR® Architecture Vision is the increased protection it provides from the sun as well as its role in preventing birds from flying into glass.
DuPont Glass Laminating Solutions provides materials, services and innovations to makers and specifiers of laminated glass. It helps create a better world by improving home protection and automotive safety, and enabling design of stronger, more energy-efficient buildings that let in more natural light. DuPont is a science-based products and services company. Founded in 1802, DuPont puts science to work by creating sustainable solutions essential to a better, safer, healthier life for people everywhere. Operating in more than 90 countries, DuPont offers a wide range of innovative products and services for markets including agriculture and food; building and construction; communications; and transportation.
Sefar® is a registered trademark of Sefar AG.The DuPont Oval, DuPont™ and SentryGlas® are registered trademarks or trademarks of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company or its affiliates.
Birgit Radlinger | DuPont
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