The seemingly floating primary structure of this central element is made up of sturdy steel triangles. Attached to the outside of these is a secondary construction of aluminium sections, which are aligned with millimetre accuracy by means of brackets – custom-designed by seele. Adjustable in three dimensions, these brackets can easily compensate for fabrication tolerances of up to 40mm. Mirrored laminated glass panes, each with a peripheral aluminium frame on the inside, are fitted into this façade framework. The frames are bonded directly to the metal coating on the glass – a load-bearing joint that represents a genuine new departure in glass architecture.
The atrium façade spans between the delicate façade of the bowl, with its fine tracery of silicone joints, and the surrounding building. Steel T-sections suspended from the roof structure plus horizontal rails together form a vertically aligned rectangular grid. Stainless steel point fixings provide the façade with a delicate pattern to create a technoid ornament next to the purist ellipse.
Images: © seele / Matthias Reithmeier