The Städel Museum in Frankfurt am Main dates from 1878 and is one of Germany’s most important museums of art. The architectural practice schneider+schumacher therefore decided to locate the latest extension, 3,000sqm of new gallery space, beneath the garden.
A total of 195 rooflights, in diameters from 1.5m to 2.5m on a 3.7m x 3.7m grid and flush with the ground, ensure natural lighting conditions and also lend the garden a distinctly unconventional appearance. The curved rooflights, which can accept foot traffic, are a new development from sedak.
Using the GlasCobond® laminating method, which creates a shear-resistant bond between the panes of glass, it is possible to bend the panes to a permanent double-curvature form using the cold-forming process. And that gives the glass advantageous properties: it can be printed and coated before being bent, it has a higher stiffness and the optical quality exceeds that of glass that is heated before bending. The glass used in the museum consists of multiple insulating glass panes designed for a load of 5 kN/qm, has an anti-slip surface finish and is curved to ensure good rainwater run-off.
A light-diffusing foil as well as a sunshading solution and LED spotlights are integrated into the rooflights to ensure that the exhibits below can always be viewed in the right light.
This type of glass, marketed under the name of “sedak spherical”, was exhibited at the glasstec specialist glass trade fair in Düsseldorf in 2010 and attracted the “Architecture Innovation Prize”.