DEG, Cologne, Germany
ARCHITECT: sop architects, Düsseldorf, Germany
The single-track sliding glass wall system, HSW60, enhances the “Cloud”, flexible breakroom space on the ground floor. The HSW60 is a three- sided operable system that completely disappears when open. It creates an open corner design on two sides. With the vertical profile design of the HSW60, the system echoes the existing façade grid of the building’s exterior shell and stylistically blends in as if it were part of the original building design.
To open the ground-floor breakroom area, 36 panels were installed with a total linear run of 107 feet and a height of 9 feet 3 inches. The panels move centrally from the front and symmetrically to each side and stack conveniently outside the plane of the opening in custom-designed parking bays. These panel parking bays are installed remotely and out of the way of the seating and tables. Additionally, the system has a no floor track option that was used to create an uninterrupted floor expanse. This flowing, threshold-free transition between the breakroom and atrium accentuates the floating nature of the “Cloud”. Small embedded floor sockets are used to lock the panels securely into place when the system is closed.
When needed, the closed system’s thermally broken panel design and insulated laminated glass provide not only a warm barrier, but also the acoustical buffering needed in this office environment—all while reinforcing the overall translucent design intended by the architects. For traffic flow and convenience, the system is outfitted with four integrated swing doors that glide out of the way with the rest of the panels when the system is open. The engineering of the self-guided wheel technology makes the panels easy to move with a single hand.
GLASS WALL SYSTEM MANUFACTURER: Solarlux, the German partner of NanaWall Systems
To expand usable space in DEG’s headquarters building, Architect Jochen Solbach and the sop architects team created a kinetic-like sculptural pavilion within the convertible glass-roofed atrium. Completed in 2018, the redesigned space serves as an open or closed event and breakroom for DEG’s employees. The convertible glass roof is open on a regular basis in pleasant weather and transforms the atrium into an airy courtyard. To gain flexible sheltered space for the workforce, the architectural firm embraced a room-within-a-room concept to add the much-needed year- round functional space. “Our idea was to extend the existing cafeteria with another room in the atrium with a dividable conference room [built overhead]—all integrated into an object that looks like a sculpture in the surroundings,” Solbach says.
To accomplish this, the 2-story floating “Cloud” is constructed of diamond-patterned white skin on three sides with the fourth side being attached to the office interior. This lamella design consists of a crisscrossing of parallelograms that are hinged together to form a connected web of movable fins. The operable fins not only give the “Cloud” its kinetic appearance, but they also provide natural light and transparency
or closed-off privacy in the elevated conference room as needed. This cloud-like component protects the transparently glazed conference room from the outdoor elements when the glass roof is open.
To achieve the levitating appearance of the “Cloud”, V-shaped structural supports are used, mitigating the need for structural columns at the corners. This recessed V-support system gives the illusion of flotation to the covered conference room as if it were a “Cloud”.