façade area

hotel wagram

One of the most fashionable addresses in Paris: the Hotel Wagram on the avenue de Wagram. Like the Champs-Élysées, this beautiful street leads to the star at the Arc de Triomphe. The undulating façade designed for the building by the architectural office of Christian de Portzamparc was intended to be highly functional from a technical point of view and representative of the office’s work, which includes the new Luxembourg Philharmonic, the Grande Bibliothèque du Québec in Montréal and the French Embassy at Pariser Platz in Berlin. seele worked closely with the architects to complete this job for hotel owners SAS Wagram.

  • The hotel façade is divided into three glass façades that differ creatively and structurally: the restaurant, the “showcase” and an undulating main façade that hangs in front of the hotel rooms. The first two façade structures run in a straight line and feature a high degree of transparency. One way this is achieved is by using unusually large glass panels of 2m x 4.3m in the restaurant façade and silicone sealant in the vertical joints of the panes. The insulated glass panes are clamped on the top and bottom, with the upper bearing allowed to slide in order to absorb the ceiling’s movements. Only for connecting the revolving entrance door to the glass façade was a vertical aluminium profile used. However, it is extremely delicately dimensioned and this connection is also perceived visually as a glass-on-glass structure. The restaurant façade seems like a continuous ribbon of glass, with the movements of the seamlessly inserted revolving doors reflecting the theme of the wave in the upper floors. With the undulating glass façade of the upper floors, seele demonstrates façade construction of the very highest level. Eleven geometries, with radii from 900mm to 11,000mm, come together to create a stirring façade. Analogous to the bottom floor, this “bow window” structure also emphasizes horizontal movement as its vertical joints do not have compression moulding. The curved insulated windows, each created from two laminated safety glass panes, were designed as stepped-edge glazing and prefabricated into elements with the steel frame. Only the sides were bonded, while the top and bottom of the panes were connected with the steel frames using compression moulding after assembly. The wave structure is further emphasized by protruding elements which are, in turn, connected with cantilevered steel plates.

    The façade elements measuring 2.60m in height and up to 4.30m in width are exactly the same width as the hotel rooms, allowing each room to be fully glazed. The white horizontal stripes applied to the outside using a screen-printing process break up the sunlight that hits them and lend the façade greater depth. The filters on the bonded edges of the insulated glass panes are a special feature. These openings allow pressure in the area between the panes to be released when it heats up. Due to their curved geometry, the panes are very rigid and, therefore, the standard method of releasing pressure through bulges in the glass surface is not used. This method of releasing pressure in insulated glass panes is frequently used in France for extremely large panes and non-standard structures.

    Images: © seele / Matthias Reithmeier


Client Altarea - SAS Wagram 39/41, Paris
Architect Atelier Christian de Portzamparc
Structural planning Van Santen & associés
Date of completion 2009
Scope of seele supply
  • 500sqm wavy glass façade with fritted insulating units
  • showcase on the ground floor with curved corner
  • a total area of 150sqm
  • a frontage of 230sqm restaurant on the other side of the building
  • revolving doors
  • glass railings on the steel construction and over 280sqm cladding