Barbara Gallagher, Journalist, Yonkers, New York
The new DG Bank is located just a stone’s throw from the Brandenburg Gate, one of Berlin’s most famous landmarks.
Internationally renowned architects, designers and engineers have collaborated to create the world’s largest light sculpture. It is made with “Duran” from SCHOTT.
What do glass tubing and light sculptures have in common? For glass designer Nikolas Weinstein, quite a lot. Together with a highly talented project team, he used SCHOTT’s “Duran” 8340 glass tubing to construct the largest light sculpture in the world. The tubing was supplied by SCHOTT Scientific Glass in Parkersburg, West Virginia.
This two-and-a-half ton masterpiece hangs in the new corporate headquarters of Germany’s DG Bank. Designed by world-renowned architect Frank O. Gehry, the building is located in a highly prestigious area of Berlin, just next to the Brandenburg Gate. “Pariser Platz 3” is both the name and address of the building.
The First of Its Kind
Unprecedented in its design, the DG Bank light sculpture covers a space of over 1,990 square feet. Nikolas Weinstein describes it as “an ephemeral and airborne gathering of 36 elements that soar through the central public atrium of the building, making it appear that the entire building is opening up to the sky.”
A glass ceiling above the sculpture allows the glass objects to come to life in the natural light.
The installation of the sculpture took two months. 600 steel cables allow the glass clouds to float in the atrium of the DG Bank. The suspension construction is designed to support 14 times the actual weight of the pieces.
The light sculpture’s unique design was inspired by its location in relationship to the building’s conference hall. The large interior atrium of “Pariser Platz 3” features a curved glass ceiling and a curved glass floor. The conference hall is located within a sculptural shell that rests on the glass floor in the center of the atrium. Clad in stainless steel on the exterior and wood on the interior, the hall appears to float in the space. As Weinstein explains, there is a direct “conversation” taking place between the opaque hall and the sweeping glass sculpture, which both captures and diffuses light.
The individual panels, ranging from four to ten feet in length, are suspended by approximately 600 fine aircraft cables. The elements rise as high as 26 feet and drop as low as twelve feet above the floor to engage the scale of the viewer. During daylight hours, it captures the natural light that flows through the atrium roof. At night, a lighting system filters through the various elements to illuminate the public space below.
The “Duran” borosilicate glass functions like safety glass, without being laminated or tempered. Its unique construction inhibits crack formation by arresting it locally.
The interior design of “Pariser Platz 3” is already capturing worldwide media attention. According to the Berliner Morgenpost International, this ambitious work of art is probably “unparalleled in the whole world”.