Holland Boulevard, Schiphol
Glassolutions bonds glass and art for Schiphol Rijksmuseum

Glassolutions bonds glass and art for Schiphol Rijksmuseum

Pavilion of 10,000 glass panels fastened together with tesa® ACXplus tape



AMSTERDAM - Schiphol Airport has now a very prestigious glass construction on the Holland Boulevard. The curved inner walls of this glass pavilion for the Rijksmuseum consist of 10,000 glass panels which Glassolutions fasten together with tesa® ACXplus tape. In this way, tape makes innovative architecture possible: Never before has a glass construction of this composition, structure and size (2,200 square meter) been built. The art treasures of the Rijksmuseum Schiphol will soon be shining just behind walls of broken glass which cut through the light like a diamond.

The glass structure becomes an international eye-catcher and an ambassador for tape as a building material. As of June millions of visitors will pass by the Holland Boulevard, which is currently being built at Schiphol Airport. The combined passage/accommodation space between the E and F piers is getting a new interior design from NEXT architects. Glassolutions, together with Hermans Glass projects, won the tender for the supply of as much as 68 tons of glass for the massive glass core (showroom and shop) and the exposed glass walls around it. Together, they will form a spectacular (semi-)transparent glass structure allowing travellers to meander along the walls of broken glass through the art treasures of the Rijksmuseum.

Semi-automatic assembly

Glassolutions and tesa left nothing to chance in this ambitious collaborative project. Accordingly, the glass manufacturer built its own assembly line to fasten the glass panels onto layered glass building blocks. Here, a skilled team fastens 10,000 320 x 7 x 1 cm (L x W x D) glass panels onto packages. Each panel receives two strips of 6mm double-sided tape over its full length. With a precisely adjusted laminating station, Glassolutions guarantees the correct pressure and positioning of the double-sided tape. After the liner has been removed, seven glass panels are placed on top of each other and compressed together. In total, 2,200 square meters of panels are fastened to 1,500 glass building blocks.

Decorative partitions

The assembly of heavy building blocks also requires precision and craftsmanship. Hermans Glass fits the glass building blocks into decorative partition walls of 3.37 m in height, partially interspersed with display cases. The building blocks are placed in Glassolutions floor and ceiling profiles and attached to each other with pre-applied tesa® ACXplus tape. In order to create the curves for the U-shaped walls - with radiuses of 50 to 145 cm – Glassolutions processes different tape thicknesses (1 to 3 mm). Also, some of the walls and bends get a stainless steel rear wall from Glassolutions for extra light reflections.

Invisible connections

Glassolutions has tested various assembly techniques to meet the strict requirements of the architect and the client. Fastening with transparent, double-sided tesa® ACXplus tape became the ideal technique within the framework of the budget. As main advantage, Martin Weerheim points out that “tesa® ACXplus is softer and more flexible than other tapes and prevents air inlets at least”. The project manager is very enthusiastic about the possibilities: “With this tape we can fasten the panels invisibly into one beautiful, continuous glass wall. We can achieve the various radiuses required by varying the tapes on the inside and outside of the glass panels. Such bends are impossible with prestressing”.

Optimal adhesion

Glassolutions receives technical support from tesa in order to turn the glass pavilion into a solid construction of sustainable quality. According to the account manager Eric Deibel from tesa B.V., unfortunately tape has a poor image. “Tape is a responsible connecting material, but its possibilities depend on the forces which apply to the specific construction. For the non-constructional glass walls at Schiphol tesa® ACXplus is the right choice. This high-quality tape sticks well to rigid substrates and glass and, due to its high viscoelasticity, it effectively absorbs any frictions and stress in the construction”.

Low maintenance and safety

Tests show that the glass construction also perfectly meets the strict requirements for safety and maintenance expected by Schiphol. “In order to avoid all possible pitfalls, we have performed various tests”, Weerheim tells us. “These have shown that there are no sharp edges in case of damage and that panels are easily replaceable”.

From mid-March the glass packages will be sent in batches (in order to prevent overloading of the floors) to Schiphol. The glass construction is expected to be ready in September.

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Final result of this prestigious artistic project
Curved shape enabled by different thicknesses of tesa® ACXplus
© Seneca Media/Rogér van Domburg
Final result of this prestigious artistic project
© Seneca Media/Rogér van Domburg
Curved shape enabled by different thicknesses of tesa® ACXplus