Octatube Deutschland B.V.

Rotterdamseweg 200, 2628 AS Delft
Telephone +31 15 7890000
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glasstec 2016 hall map (Hall 11): stand D42

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glasstec 2016 fairground map: Hall 11

Our range of products

Product categories

  • 03  Glass products and applications
  • 03.08  Structural use of glass
  • 03.08.01  Structural use of glass

Our products

Product category: Structural use of glass

Market Hall

Architect: MVRDV
Client: JP van Eesteren
Year: 2014
Location: Netherlands, Rotterdam
Material: Glass
Application: Balustrade, Facade

The Market Hall is an architectonic residential project and market hall in Rotterdam, designed by the world-renowned architectural office MVRDV. The concept and typology of the building are readable from the iconic shape. The combination of an apartment building covering a fresh food market with food shops, restaurants, a supermarket and an underground parking is found nowhere else in the world. For the Netherlands the realisation of this new hybrid public building also means the first covered market. The building needed to be as open as possible to attract the public and at the same time it had to be closed off due to weather conditions. This resulted in a spectacular design covering the front and backside with a flexible suspended glass facade, allowing for maximum transparency and a minimal structure. These transparent cablenet facades have a width of 42 meters and a height of 34 meters, the largest of its kind in Europe. Octatube has been responsible for the engineering, production and installation of these large glass facades in collaboration with: Provast (Client), JP van Eesteren (Main Contractor), RoyalHaskoningDHV (Structural Designer), MVRDV (Architect) and Inbo (Interior Architect).

The glass facade is divided in 26 vertical and 22 horizontal cables. Together they form a suspended net, similar to a tennis racket that functions as a single layered load bearing structure. The cables are pre-stressed between strong (60 mm thick) steel boxes embedded and cast in the concrete walls. The boxes have been designed in such a way that rough concrete tolerances could be transferred into tight tolerances needed to construct a glass facade. The galvanized steel cables run through spherical joints to allow for deformations and prevent material fatigue. All cables have a diameter of 31.3 mm, and their breaking strength is 884 kilonewtons. One of the technical challenges for the structural facades of the Market Hall, is to deal with the high pre-stress forces that have to be transferred to the concrete arch. The cables are prestressed to a maximum of 300 kilonewtons each, of which 50 kilonewtons is in fact surplus capacity to deal with the consequences of creep in the concrete.

A cast steel node is placed where the cables cross each other, allowing the vertical and horizontal cables to intersect while fastening the corners of the glass panels in one single detail. The distance from the horizontal cables to the glass is 150 millimetres and the distance from the vertical cables to the glass is 100 millimetres. Laminated single glass units, with a typical dimension of 1485 by 1485 millimetres, are fixed to the cables by means of circular clamping plates. In the middle, the facade can be exposed to deflections up to 70 centimetres during extreme wind loads. A horizontal deflection of a facade with such tolerances is one of the characteristics of cablenet facades.
The deformation causes the cables to elongate and the glass panels to rotate up to 5.4 degrees. In the corners of the facade where 2 sides of the glass panels are more or less fixed, one corner can move inwards and outwards up to 50 millimetres. The detail of the door portals is also interesting: the portal frames are moving with the facade disconnected from the revolving doors.
The main structure of the cablenet facades consists of galvanized steel cables, cast clamping nodes and steel plates for the embedded boxes. All cables in the facade are of the same type, but the theoretically required pretension force is different for each cable. For practical reason the cables’ pretension forces have been distributed and grouped per five adjacent cables. In addition, a very specific pretension protocol has been written to gradually and uniformly load the concrete arch. The cables are - without pretension - too short to fix them directly at both sides. Therefore, the cables have been fixed at one side, while a temporary tension bridge has been used at the opposite side. After installation, the cables have symmetrically been pre-stressed for 50% by means of hydraulic pretensioning, after which a second round of pre-stressing has brought the pre-tension in all cables to 100%. During this operation the cables have all been stretched between 94 and 147 millimetres each. The maximum applied tensile force of 300kN can be compared to 20-25 middle class cars. The typical glass panel is 1485 by 1485 millimetres, composed of clear heat-strengthened float glass. The single glass units are laminated with two panes of six millimeters. It has been a deliberate choice from the architect not to apply any coating on the glass. The main consideration for this has always been to maximize the sense of openness and transparency. The two facades both have a total glazed area of 1258 square meters.

The Market Hall was opened on the first of October by Queen Maxima. Ever since the opening the building has attracted ongoing publicity. There are hundreds of favourable reviews from both the international architecture platforms and international media such as The Guardian and The New York Times. The realization of the building has also played an essential role in strengthening the reputation of the city and the brand of Rotterdam, now named as one of best cities in the world for travellers to visit. In the first few weeks the Market Hall had already attracted one million visitors. The exterior facade is clad in grey natural stone; the same is used for the market floor and the surrounding public space, in this way the emphasis lays on the colourful interior. The large mural has been rendered in the Pixar Studios and covers the vaulted interior. Especially at night the 11.000 square meter interior painting, called ‘Cornucopia’ or ‘The Horn of Plenty’, comes alive. This sensation is enabled by the transparency of the cable facades with only nine kilograms of structural steel per square meter. The success of the Market Hall may lay in the synthesis of a new urban mixed-use building typology, bold architecture and a spectacular interior artwork. The cable facades facilitate these aspects.
Not only has the building already won several prices, but also the cable facades are awarded with the Dutch Construction Awards 2015 in the category for building materials and –systems. The jury praised the synergy between structure and architecture as well as the guts and intelligence of the engineers. Cable facades are an emerging trend in architecture. They are the perfect tool to create very transparent facades of which the Market Hall's cable facades are a prime example.

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Product category: Structural use of glass

Glass Cube

Architect: Alfonso Millanes
Client: Banco Santander
Year: 2009
Location: Spain, Madrid
Material: Glass, Steel
Application: Roof, Canopy, Facade

Headquarters Banco Santander Madrid
Architect Alfonso Millanes designed a highly distinctive visitor’s entrance for the new Banco Santander headquarters in Madrid. This cathedral-like glass cube is flooded with natural light to provide a pleasant indoor environment. The highly-optimized construction creates optimal transparency.

The glass cube is a part of the mega-project of the Banco Santander headquarters in Madrid. Unlike many banks, Banco Santander has not chosen to establish their headquarters in an exclusive tower on the Paseo de la Castellana; rather, they chose a vast, green campus in the rolling countryside just outside the capital. As modest a gesture it might sound, bank manager Botin devoted much of his energy to make it remarkable. In addition to a soaring volume of luxury offices for 12,000 employees, the campus is also equipped with fine restaurants, a hotel, an 18-hole golf course, an expansive sports complex, and a museum.

Visitors enter the company’s headquarters via ‘El Cubo’. The 900 square-meter lobby impresses visitors with intense daylight and panoramic views on all the sides of the building while still protecting the space from the harsh Spanish sun. Optimal transparency is achieved by hanging the glass skin and warped glass roof from the main construction at a distance of 2.5 meters. The finishing details consist only of stainless steel tensile rods and specially developed Quattro nodes, thereby contributing to its overall transparency.
Integration of several functions into the structural components of this particular cube was imperative in reaching the desired level of transparency. For example, the lateral bracing of the main structure serves not only to stabilize the structure against horizontal forces but also to support the glass panels of the façade. Another example is the water drainage that occurs within the columns.

The roof also has a unique feature - it is completely flat. In theory, flat roofs function fine, but in practice, rainwater must to be drained to prevent stains on the glass, or worse yet, excessive accumulation of water on the surface of the roof. The roof of the glass cube is designed to drain water into a gutter that runs along all sides. The glass panels of the roof are twisted to avoid the use of triangular glass panels.

The entrance of the building is a canopy consisting of a 10m cantilevered stainless steel structure. A fixed connection is made on the concrete foundations.

Both structural and industrial engineers agree that the glass cube is among the lightest possible structure to date, and therefore fulfills the aim of architect Alfonso Millanes - to create transparency of unimaginable limits.

The glass gutter is positioned directly above one of the compression tubes of the main steel structure. This not only disguises the gutter, but also allows the corner of the roof-façade connection to be transparent. The horizontal panels of the roof rest on the glass panels of the façade. Aside from the glass panels, no additional load-bearing elements are needed.

New Product Development
New Quattro nodes have been developed for the glass cube. The design has been presented to the architect via rapid-prototype, full-scale model. After architect approval, the computer model was sent for CNC production.

Glass Panels
Glass manufacturer Interpane provided nearly 3500 square-meters of ipasol solar control glass. Each glass panel is 2.5m x 2.5m. The insulated glass is made from fully-tempered outer panels and heat-strengthened laminated inner panels. The glass type chosen is ‘extra-white’, emphasizing the glass cube as a sparkling crystal in the landscape.

Architect’s Note
“To construct pure geometry has been the desire of architects for ages. The pyramids of Egypt, the dome of the Pantheon, and the Neoplatonic designs by Ledoux are illustrations of this desire. Today, constructing pure geometry out of glass and steel is also possible, ever since Paxton astonished the world when he unveiled the Crystal Palace.
Creating the entrance to the Santander Group’s Ciudad Financiera in Boadilla del Monte presented us with the opportunity of conceptualizing an entrance for the entire complex, which - beyond being simply functional - would, more importantly, be profoundly symbolic.
The first step was to understand the nature of the front entrance, not simply as a flat entry-point or a mere passage into the building, but rather as an intermediate reception area, a welcoming space, formalized by a pure geometric figure of which the generous scale would convey both the idea of access and the impression of solidity and strength of a global company.
This glass cube employs space and air, turning the immaterial into material - transparent and removing, as far as possible, even the color of the glass, projecting a peripheral supporting structure which barely comes into contact with the glass skin, an autonomous exoskeleton with the same geometrical shape as the overall enclosure. And above all, the construction reaches the limits of what we imagined.”
- Alfonso Millanes Mato

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Product category: Structural use of glass

City Canopy The Diagonal

Architect: DunnetCraven
Client: Unibail-Rodamco
Year: 2014
Location: Netherlands, Almere
Material: Glass, Steel
Application: Canopy

Just above the heads of shoppers Octatube has build wind canopy the Diagonal in the city centre of Almere. The canopy structure for Citymall Almere is part of an ambitious quality improvement plan and fits in the Almere master plan of OMA. Building site nuisance for shop owners and shoppers has been kept to a minimum by means of an enclosed scaffold during construction. This has enabled construction to take place while all shops were fully accessible.

Unibail-Rodamco has appointed Octatube as the main contractor for engineering, producing and installing the second and largest canopy structure of Citymall Almere at the Diagonal. The city canopy is designed by the architects of DunnetCraven and consulting firm Techniker, in collaboration with B+M Den Haag and ABT and DVP. The canopy is approximately 11 meters in height and stands on a ascending street, separate from the surrounding buildings.

The main structure consists 22 columns and a grid of bespoke V-shaped main beams. These V-beams are made from 12 millimeters cold-bent steel plates and also serve as gutters. A secundary grid of rectangular hollow steel sections bring the total steel production at 125 tons, which has been manufactured by Octatube in-house. At the building site the different elements have been joined together to form one large canopy structure of 82 by 24 meters.
The spacing in between the canopy and the existing buildings has been emphasized by cantilevering glass beams at the perimeter of the canopy, making a transparent gesture to the surrounding buildings.With the exception of 4 circular voids the canopy’s steel structure is fully covered with glass panels, fixed to the steel profiles and glass fins by means of clamps. The glass panels have a standard size of 2 by 2 meters and cover an area of more than 1300 square meters.

Lighting is an important feature of the canopy to enhance the atmosphere of the public space at night times. General ambient light is achieved by means of recessed LED spots mounted to the surface of the steel structure. In addition, a band of light is located at the perimeter of the circular openings, giving a visual halo effect.

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Product category: Structural use of glass

City Offices Utrecht

Architect: Kraaijvanger
Client: Bouwcombinatie SKU
Year: 2014
Location: Netherlands, Utrecht
Material: Steel, Glass
Application: Facade

For the new city offices in Utrecht, designed by Kraaijvanger, Octatube has realised a large and innovative curtain wall. The main structure consists of five large horizontal suspended steel trusses. These trusses are elegantly suspended from a lattice girder at the top of a large public hall, making the structural facade very transparent.

The trusses are provided with steel distance holders for the fixation of 220 glass panels. The double laminated double glass units measure 1,2 by 3,6 meters. Extraordinary about this facade is the suspension and the dilation at the ground floor level, enabling the facade to move vertically. The structural facade near the Utrecht CS train station measures 1104 square meters.

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Product category: Structural use of glass

The Botin Centre

Architect: Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Client: UTE OHL-Ascan
Year: 2014
Location: Spain, Santander
Material: Steel, Glass
Application: Facade, Roof, Balustrade

The Botin Centre is designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop (in association with Luis Vidal + Architects) and shall become a new cultural and international highlight and icon in the port of Santander on the northern coast of Spain. Cantilevering above the sea and situated next to a large park, the Botín Centre will provide space for art, culture and diverse activities of the Botín Foundation.

The Italian architect Renzo Piano is known for his work with Richard Rogers and Peter Rice since the seventies and eighties. Among his best known works are Centre Pompidou in Paris, NEMO in Amsterdam, Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, the New York Times building and The Shard in London. In particular his designs for museums and ingenious daylight concepts are widely appreciated and studied by architects worldwide. Renzo Piano Building Workshop is an international architectural practice with offices in Paris, Genoa and New York City. In 1998 the works of Renzo Piano have been honoured with the Pritzker Architecture Prize.
The relationship between Octatube and Renzo Piano goes way back. Before the launch of his own office, Mick Eekhout had worked as an intern at Renzo Piano Building Workshop. In the same office he would show up 30 years later as an expert in the field of glass structures and general director of Octatube. There is a great mutual respect because of the common passion for ‘technical’ architecture and experimenting with materials. During the engineering, compromises to quality are out of the question. At one of the design meetings, Piano concludes: “no excuses, we go for the best quality”.

The Botín Foundation is Spain’s number one private foundation both in terms of its investment capacity and of the social impact made by its programmes. Its objective is to stimulate the economic, social and cultural development of society. It engages in the fields of art and culture, education, science and rural development, it supports creative, progress-making talent and explores new ways of generating wealth. Its sphere of action focuses primarily on Spain and especially on the region of Cantabria, but also on Ibero-America. The foundation is chaired by Emilio Botín, who is the CEO of Banco Santander. For this bank Octatube has realised a circular glass skylight in 2005, and in 2009 a large glass cube for the headquarters of Banco Santander was build in Madrid. With the Botín Centre the foundation will promote the cultural, social and economical development of Santander, like the Guggenheim Museum has effectuated in Bilbao. About the architect, Emilio Botín explains: “To accomplish it, we have called on the best architect in the world. The architect, who best knows how to link cities to the sea, to build urban spaces, and to generate magical places where art may be enjoyed”.

The iconic building is characterized by two large rounded volumes that are connected by means of glass walkways of which the largest cantilevers of nearly 10 meters above the sea. Octatube has already been involved in the project for a year and the entire building envelop is part of a challenging engineering process ever since.
More than 6000m² of facades and cladding could be divided into larger elements each with their own complexity. On the ground floor a large transparent facade with structural glass fins joins perfectly with the large sloping building volume. The building volumes are featured by very precisely detailed (second skin) facades with high quality duplex stainless steel and structural glazing. A large rooflight is integrated with an ingenious system of lamellae above one of the museum’s exhibition gallery, allowing the space to be naturally lit. The construction of the walkable glass platforms must take into account different loads and movements of the building.
A lot of research has been done to integrate the material characteristics of duplex stainless steel in the architectural detailing. The use of high-end duplex is justified by the need of durability and low maintenance in the marine environment.

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