SCHOLLGLAS: The Crystal by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

• May 19, 2012

Highly insulating. Crystal clear. Safe.
Copenhagen’s new architectural highlight ‘The Crystal’ creates intricate light effects with SCHOLLGLAS products

In Copenhagen, while industrial and logistics companies are increasingly relocating to suburban areas of the city as a result of economic change, the attractive city-centre areas around the harbour are becoming service sector hubs. The Danish Nykredit Bank moved also with its headquarter to the habor district and expanded it additionally by one building this year. The eye-catching sculptural design is also from the Danish architectural office Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects as well as the main building.

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Adam Mork 1 600x273 SCHOLLGLAS: The Crystal by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Image © SCHOLLGLAS | Photographer: Adam Mørk

Prominently located with a view over the harbour, the structure, emblematically named ‘The Crystal’, nestles between historical brick buildings and modern glazed architecture. Harmonising with the neighbouring buildings in terms of height and volume, the dynamic appearance of the structure, dictated by its glazed façades, is a real eye catcher. Depending on the incidence of light, the façade elements produce a reflective or transparent effect. The building envelope itself rises in a dramatic tilt above a hexagonal, gemstone-shaped floor plan. In contact with the ground at only a single point and a single line at its base, the structure culminates in an elevated apex stretching out towards the city. Below is the generous main entrance, where an impressive staircase leads visitors and employees into the bright, light-flooded interior. Two triangular atria rise up through all six levels and deliver natural light to all the workstations. By superpositioning the hexagonal floor plans over the two triangular atria, each individual floor is given a z-shaped layout, with the various areas interconnected by bridges, staircases and glazed lifts. As a whole, the architecture reflects the bank’s claim of operating transparently and flexibly, with the entire building characterised by a bright, transparent and inspiring atmos-phere.

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Adam Mork 3 600x461 SCHOLLGLAS: The Crystal by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Image © SCHOLLGLAS | Photographer: Adam Mørk

In order to create an open interior free of supports that could be used flexibly, the building’s complex supporting structure is located internally, directly behind the façade.

A welded-steel diagrid system distributes the load and gives the building its rigidity. On the outside of the steel grid, the envelope is formed by a mullion-transom construction with a double-skin glass façade. The façade incorporates triple-layer GEWE-therm® multi-function glass from SCHOLLGLAS, which provides effective thermal insulation and yet is neutral in transparency and appearance. These panes also feature TGI edge-bonding, a so-called ‘warm edge’. This edge-bonding system optimises the thermal transfer from frame to glass, thereby reducing energy consumption.

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Adam Mork 4 600x378 SCHOLLGLAS: The Crystal by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Image © SCHOLLGLAS | Photographer: Adam Mørk

Particularly in office buildings that incorporate a high percentage of glass, the hazards of solar heating also require consideration. For this reason, GEWE-therm® sun featuring the highly-selective coating Planistar 70/40 was used for ‘The Crystal’. This glass delivers just the right amount of daylight into the interior for optimal vision, while simultaneously deflecting the longwave infrared radiation that is responsible for excessive interior heating. Adapted for the respective installation situation, the GEWE-therm® triple-pane insulating glass optimally fulfils a variety of requirements. For example, the glass was used as safety glass on the ground floor for balustrades and ceiling areas, and as stepped insulating glass for the frameless corner glazing on vertical corners.

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Adam Mork 2 600x813 SCHOLLGLAS: The Crystal by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects

Image © SCHOLLGLAS | Photographer: Adam Mørk

The building’s second façade skin comprises a GEWE-safe® laminated safety glass curtain wall made of highly durable GEWE-dur® single-pane safety glass in an aluminium frame. Some of the approximately 2000 panes are printed on the outside with a so-called ‘side one’ weather-proof ink, which was applied using ceramic silk-screen printing. 36 different dot matrix combinations developed from the architects’ façade design produce various degrees of transparency on the façade. Depending on the angle of incidence, the light is either reflected or shines through, thus lending the building a multifaceted, crystal-type appearance.

Although only recently opened, this new architectural high-light in Copenhagen harbour has already been distinguished with the European Steel Award.

+ Project facts

Project: The Crystal, Head Quarter, Nykredit, Kopenhagen/DK
Client: Nykredit, Kopenhagen/DK
Architects: Schmidt Hammer Lassen, Kopenhagen/DK
Contractor: HS Hansen-Metallbau
GEWE-safe® made out of GEWE-dur®:
Schollglas Technik Sachsen GmbH, Nossen, OT Heynitz/D
GEWE-therm® triple glazing:
Schollglas Technik GmbH, Isernhagen/DE
Photos: © SCHOLLGLAS, Photographer: Adam Mørk

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Category: Architecture, Office

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