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Pilot project of unique glass construction

Structural mock-up at Thiele Glas premises Wermsdorf

The Corning Museum of Glass in New York State tells the story of 3,500 years glass and glass art. The exhibition of over 45,000 collection items is interactive and versatile in the biggest glass collection of the world. The museum shows innovation, manufacturing, research as well as art and history of glass. Permanent exhibition, demonstration at glass works and glass production workshops offer visitors a fascinating variety. In that way anyone gets the chance to discover and experience such unique material.

Since summer 2012 the museum is extended. For the new exhibition building which will equally be an amazing exhibit of the museum itself Thiele Glas produces a total of 2,000 square meter glass consisting of 140 single panes. A 16-meter high facade will be completely built out of glass measured up to 3.20 x 7.20 meter which creates a nearly seamless slightly reflective surface.

As part of the production and preparation process a mock-up of one façade element is installed true to original at Thiele Glas production site in Wermsdorf within these days. A delegation of the project team arrived especially for inspecting the effect of the white laminated glass in combination with the ceramic digital print as well as for testing the installation of the glass to the construction. At the end of April the last panels will leave the production site in Wermsdorf and transferred to our customer MBM Konstruktionen GmbH.

Glass composition as well as aluminum profiles should be considered as an absolute specialty of the project. For the first time Thiele Glas fabricated laminated safety glass which is separated by interlayer joints. This causes the effect of a window which allows the visitor to look through the glass whereas the areas with the Vanceva Polar White interlayer are opaque. The 1,000 Kilogram heavy panes are hold by aluminum profiles bonded with silicone and mounted to the facade construction. Only small joints will be visible because panes are installed one upon the other, however, the building will appear as one single unit – like a huge showecase of glass.

That is exactly what the architect, Thomas Phifer, imagined: ‘the simplicity of the buildings form focuses the viewer on the materiality or ‘’potency’’ of glass. You will read moments of transparency and moments of reflection. Each moment will reflect and absorb in a different way the light, the buildings and natural elements surrounding the structure.’


Construction period:

June 2012 until summer 2014, estimated

Architect: Thomas Phifer and Partners
Executing company: MBM Konstruktionen GmbH
Profile and joint bonding: HVF silicone specialists GmbH & Co.KG
Glass types:

combination of TG-SAFEplus, TG-PROTECT®color and TG-PRINTdigtial

Images: Visualization © The Corning Museum of Glass