Glass Corridor for Law Courts

Major refurbishment work is currently being carried out at the palace in Grimma in Saxony, so that it can house law courts in the future. The new func­tion requires the construction of a number of extensions to the historic build­ing. To ensure that the historical spatial relationships of this ensemble, now protected by a conservation order, remain tangible, the new extensions are to be built in glass and as transparent as possible (Fig. 3(a)). One of these, a 25-m – long corridor, has been conceived as an almost completely glued construction.

A total of 17 half-frames made from laminated safety glass form the load­bearing structure to this glazed corridor (Fig. 3(b)). To achieve maximum trans­parency, the frames are not bolted at the corners, but instead joined with a transparent, high-strength adhesive. Each frame is let into the existing stone

FIG. 3—New glass structures for the historic courtyard: (a) visualization (Bauconzept Planungsgesellschaft mbH), and (b) Vertical section through new glass corridor (GSK – Glas Statik Konstruktion GmbH).

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wall at the upper support and fixed to a new reinforced concrete ramp at the base. The glazed envelope is glued to its supporting structure via structural seal­ant glazing (SSG) adhesive joints.

Experimental proof is often required within the scope of the approval pro­cedures for nonregulated construction products and forms of construction, which applies to glued glass structures in particular. There are no building – industry regulations covering the assessment of adhesive joints for structural glass in Germany, apart from those for SSG systems. Therefore, for this project, it was first necessary to carry out extensive preliminary studies to enable a suita­ble adhesive to be selected. Material parameters and adhesive properties were determined experimentally. The building authorities also required the load­bearing capacity to be verified by way of loading tests on sample components in addition to the static analysis.