Anne-Marie Ring-Heber, Journalist, Munich, Germany
For fire protection reasons, all corridors starting on the eighth floor are glazed with “Pyran S”. In case of fire, the invisible technical, protective characteristics of “Pyran S” glass systems prevent flames and fumes from penetrating interiors for up to two hours.
Glassy Thermal Shield
At the Frankfurt Hilton, glazing using “Pyran S” special purpose glass made by SCHOTT provides a low-cost fire protection solution for spacious glass architecture.
The newly built Frankfurt Hilton is located in the heart of downtown Frankfurt, near the stock market and within walking distance of the Old Opera House and the banking district. Visitors are impressed by the architecture of this imposing building that uses modern glass façades and whose inner rooms are flooded with light. One walks through the main entrance to reach the lobby, where the reception, lounge, bar and pub are located. The ground floor was conceived as mostly open space. The individual functions have been arranged on different levels to allow an unobstructed view of the adjoining park.
An impressive atrium
The 13-story hotel boasts 342 rooms, an executive floor and 14 suites. The guest rooms are distributed over two, slightly curved wings linked by a connecting wing. They enclose an atrium as high as the building, whose west wall is made of glass and whose top is a glass roof. The atrium is the unique feature of this hotel. It rises 45 meters from the middle of the building to the ridge of the roof. Corridors border two sides of the atrium, while elevators and guest rooms on the third side offer a magnificent view of the atrium. These corridors for the guest rooms also serve as escape routes. If a fire were to occur, the atrium could turn into a chimney. If the lobby were to burn, an escape route for guests on the upper floors must be guaranteed. All corridors up to the seventh floor are open. If a fire were to break out, fire-resistant flame and fume protectors would be lowered from the roof. Starting on the eighth floor, these corridors are fully glazed with clear integrity Pyran S, which stops flames and fumes for at least 30 minutes. The guest rooms on the lower floors facing the atrium are equipped with window glazing which prevents outside flames and fumes from reaching the interior.
The atrium‘s smoke prevention concept was the result of the close cooperation between architects, fire protection experts, glass manufacturers and safety inspectors. “Pyran S” from SCHOTT has been used in a number of projects due to its fire resistant properties. The prestressed, monolithic borosilicate glass with invisible, protective technical characteristics meets fire regulations and prevents flames and fumes from penetrating interiors for up to two hours. Its low thermal expansion, high strength and structural design allow “Pyran S” to resist fully the heating-up stage of fire tests. Under actual fire conditions, the heat causes only minimal viscosity in the glass, even after a long exposure and in simple frame systems, which explains why framing manufacturers like the material so much. SCHOTT and its partners have already developed more than 30 approved systems that use “Pyran S” – in timber, metal, aluminum and steel framings and as a light-weight dividing wall.
Architects, working in close cooperation with the building authorities and the fire department, have learned to take advantage of the creative and cost-effective construction possibilities that modern fire protection glass offers. The result is an open structure which guests can see from afar.