Entrance Hall University of Bremen, Germany

entrance hall university of bremen

Football is not the only profession with a “magic triangle”. In architecture, Werner Sobek Engineering, Alsop & Störmer Architects and seele worked together with Bremer Hochbaumanagement to develop a glazed entrance hall of unmatched transparency on the campus of the University of Bremen. The bright entrance hall is enclosed on two sides by a highly flexible glass membrane; it was the lightest material of its type at the time of construction and ushered in a new era in glass construction. The hall, which measures 22m x 43.5m, is connected on two sides to the existing university building and merges the interior and exterior spaces into a single unit. 

  • The spring-loaded façade built in Bremen created a counterpoint to typical rigid structures. A delicate-looking steel grid rests at a height of 15m, mounted in the entrance area on six V-shaped posts, and supported in the back on the university building by six free-moving hinged columns. At intervals of approximately 2m, the membrane structure is supported by sturdy 26mm-thick steel cables which are kept at a constant level of tension via pivot spring dampeners at their base connections. This steady and powerful tension statically absorbs both wind loads and the tilting moment of the V-shaped glass supports, so the steel cables running along the vertical joints did not have to be used to bear the load of the glass panes. The panes sit extremely close to each other, increasing the incredibly transparent appearance of the glass membrane. Despite the enormous tension, the longest cable may move up to 0,5m in stormy weather. This high elasticity is gradually reduced towards the corners via glass fins as well as a corner structure of pipes with diagonal bracing.

1,100sqm façade area

Client Bremer Hochbauamt
Architect Alsop & Störmer Architects
Engineer Werner Sobek Ingenieure
Date of completion 2000
Scope of seele supply

Glass hall, facade glazing

  • 15m high, ground area 22m x 43,5m
  • 10mm – 12mm toughened glass panes, approx. 2m x 0,9m

Roof grid

  • 6mm toughened fritted glass
  • 2mm x 8mm heat strengthened glass
  • 5 hologram panes

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