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The topics ‘light’ and ‘network’ handled by an unique method

The implementation of the luminous facades of the Aachener Fraunhofer Institutes belongs to the present references of Thiele Glas and demonstrates the variety of design which is possible by using glass in combination with state-of-the-art light technology.

Colored glass elements out of TG-ESG®-H with multiple enameling were applied for an innovative ‘artwork in the building’ project by the artist Annette Sauermann: ‘knowledge networks’ were integrated as large light drawings in the building facade of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT) in Aachen. The field of activity of the Fraunhofer ILT is developing new laser beam sources and laser applications while the Fraunhofer IPT generates systems solutions for productions. The relevant topics for both companies are ‘network’ and ‘light’ and were implemented in the exterior design of the new buildings.

The Fraunhofer ILT got a white facade out of TG- ESG®-H and the Fraunhofer IPT got one in black. Both are partly coated with a network drawing which is visible in the light as well as in the dark. The ceramic ink was though repeatedly applied to the rear side of the glass. A LED light system, connected to the Intranet of the institute, generates different light scenes by internal activities at the processors and determines the intensity. Additionally the LED light system backlights 42 installed glass elements with dimensions up to 1,250 x 3,719 mm. The Fraunhofer ILT is red lighted and the Fraunhofer ITP appears in the changing colors white, green and blue. The entire surface of installed glass panes amounts to 488 square meters. All non-backlit glasses have been adapted in their color, so that they have the same color in daylight like the repeatedly printed and opaque glasses.

According to external occurrences, like weather and brightness, the individual façade elements allow various different looks by their special processing. Partial mirroring on the white façade as well as sandblasting on both facades provide additional light refraction, which supports the layout of the lines. Thus the glass art appears particularly impressive.

The concept and coordination of the glass façade design, including the illumination, was devoted by the artist Annette Sauermann. The company Glashandel Pritz GmbH, which is located in Engelskirchen, was responsible for implementing the idea to the final measurement, CAD-planning as well as delivery and installation of this special, government-certified and structural glass solution. The sandblasting and partial mirroring were made by the Glasmalerei Peters GmbH situated in Paderborn. The LightLife Gesellschaft for audiovisual experience mbH from Cologne realized the lighting application. And, the entire planning of the building was effected by the office of JSWD architects in Cologne.

Images: © Annette Sauermann