Volume 26, Issue 6 - November/December 2012

Curves Ahead
For One of Amsterdam’s Newest Glass Structures

It takes more than just standard-sized glass panels to bring an asymmetrical building to life. Such was the case for the Curve, an office building in Amsterdam that features 5,000 square meters of triple-glazed units fabricated by Interpane. Located along the old NDSM (Dutch Dock and Shipbuilding Company) docks, the Curve is a highly transparent office building with six floors totaling 4,350 square meters in area. Every glass panel is individual, with different angles and dimensions—which posed a challenge for both fabrication and installation.

The Curve’s asymmetrical elliptical floor plan of the ground floor is 54 meters long and 26 meters wide. Vertically, the building forms a slightly twisted ellipse, giving the walls a height of 26 meters. The main frame consists of reinforced concrete floors and diagonal concrete pillars as well as steel tubes that run along the glass front. The floor-to-ceiling glass panels are mounted on stainless steel fixtures, point-fitted and held with clamping plates.

Designer Ed Veenendaal and architect Oever Zaaijer designed and created this project, which resembles the funnel of an ocean liner, to be a highly sustainable building; one that would provide low energy consumption as well as indoor environmental quality. According to the architects, “the large amount of glass in the façade creates … excellent light and a good view on all sides … the glass also provides excellent soundproofing.”

Octatube was responsible for implementing the structural glazing façade, which includes sloping triple lites up to 5 meters long, each with a unique shape and some weighing more than a ton.

According to information from Octatube, one challenge in the façade’s technical design was controlling the form complexity. The company says it was able to address the challenge through the use of building information modeling and also by carefully detailing the individual glass lites and connections to the load-bearing construction of the building.

Parametric engineering was used to tackle issues. First, a design principle was constructed, with varying components depending on the angle in the vertical direction and the connecting glass panels in the horizontal direction. This resulted in the efficient detailing of a principle which could then be engineered as various details dependant on the position. This method also saved a lot of time and effort during assembly.”

For this project Interpane fabricated its ipasol neutral 50/27 solar control glass with additional iplus E thermal insulation coating. The triple-glazed units are constructed with inner and outer lites of laminated safety glass, while the middle lite is monolithic. ipasol neutral 50/27 is on the exterior, providing protection from the heat. A further iplus thermal insulation coating on the central lite (position 4) and argon between the lites helps prevent excessive cooling.

Completed earlier this year, some of the building’s tenants include companies such as MTV Networks and Red Bull.

Architects' Guide to Glass & Metal
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