façade area


panes of glass

maximilian museum

The Maximilian Museum is the principal museum for the art collections of the City of Augsburg. The complex, consisting of two historic civic buildings, was extensively refurbished and modernised between 1999 and 2002. A graceful barrel-vault roof of glass was built over the central courtyard so that this area can be used for displaying sculptures. Working together with the structural engineers Ludwig & Weiler Ingenieure GmbH, seele engineers designed a delicate, lightweight structure – modern yet complementing the existing buildings. A total of 527 panes of glass form a self-supporting structure over the historical courtyard measuring 37m x 14m.

This all-glass shell requires only a minimum number of other components. A tubular frame is all that is needed to define the edges of the barrel vault. The frame rests on slender pedestals adapted to the complicated support situation on the left and right sides of the courtyard. The single-curvature shell structure forming the barrel vault enabled economic prefabrication of identical panes. Compressive stresses are transferred to the structure at the nodes. To do this, each pane is supported on the node plate via stainless steel caps fitted to the corners. A pin with adjusting screws in the centre of the node is used to position the plate to create a structural connection with the steel caps. Each pane is made of laminated safety glass (two plies of 12mm heat-strengthened glass) and measures 1.16m x 0.95m.

  • Additional stability for the entire structure is guaranteed by nine cable “spoke” arrangements plus diagonal spiral ropes with a total length of about 2km. Numerous test series were required before the supreme building authority was prepared to grant an individual approval for this new type of all-glass barrel vault.

    Centring had to be erected for assembling the glass roof, which had to be temporarily pre-stressed during construction. Upon completion, the centring was lowered and the pre-stress adjusted in defined stages. Special care was needed to ensure precise positioning of the individual panes, which, in the end, guarantee the accuracy of the form of the whole roof.

    Images: © Werbefotografie Weiss



Client City of Augsburg
Architect Hochbauamt der Stadt Augsburg
Engineer Ludwig & Weiler Ingenieure GmbH
Date of completion 2000
Scope of seele supply

Barrel supporting structure with 527 self-supporting glass panes, each 2mm x 12mm TVG at a dimension of 1.16m to 0.95m