Like a transparent cocoon: PLEXIGLAS® façade for meteorological tower in Munich
New meteorological tower of TU München has a PLEXIGLAS® façade
The 210 façade elements were curved to match the tower’s special geometry. Each element has a different radius and curvature.
The material’s transparency and light transmission were crucial to the architects’ choice.
A transparent façade made of PLEXIGLAS® sheets from Evonik envelopes the new high-tech meteorological tower at the Technische Universität München (Munich University of Technology, TUM) on its Garching campus. TUM’s new landmark was inaugurated in July after three years of planning and construction. “As a chemist, I wanted a shell based on high-tech chemistry,” TUM’s president, Professor Wolfgang A. Herrmann, said in his speech at the opening ceremony. “PLEXIGLAS® is the ideal solution.”
The 50-meter-high Oskar-von-Miller-Turm collects meteorological data like temperature, solar radiation, and wind speed using the latest technical equipment. The architecture is also of the highest level. This was ensured by the material mix of gentle-looking PLEXIGLAS® and tough steel and concrete. The reinforced concrete structure can be seen through the transparent vertical façade and reveals the tower’s interior.
To provide a glimpse behind the scenes, the architects at the Munich office of Deubzer König & Rimmel needed a highly transparent façade material that was also resistant to weathering and UV light. That is why they chose PLEXIGLAS®, which can stand up to all winds and weathers.
The PLEXIGLAS® façade also has another very specific function: It serves as a projection screen, for example for weather data, news on campus life and scientific pictures. Text and images projected onto the surface from the inside can be clearly read on the façade because the PLEXIGLAS® elements in a whitish technical engineering grade provide 88% light transmission. This makes the projections on the material highly luminous.
Each of the 210 façade elements is unique and has a different radius and curvature due to the tower’s geometry. The architects ventured into new territory when installing the sheets. They developed pointwise bearings so as not to impair the material’s graceful optical impression by using aluminum bars as the supporting structure. The sheets are therefore fixed by means of slim pointwise fastening devices, which made it possible to reduce the butt joints between the façade rings to an absolute minimum.
“The meteorological tower shows that PLEXIGLAS® offers completely new options for architects. They just have to use them,” says Thomas Ries, an architect in the Acrylic Polymers Business Line at Evonik. “This project injects fresh dynamism into the discussion about plastics in architecture.”
High-definition video material of the Oskar-von-Miller-Turm and its construction is available and can be downloaded free of charge from the server. The raw data are available from Evonik, Acrylic Polymers Business Line, Dominik Böhm, phone no. +49 615118-3643, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Performance Polymers Business Unit of Evonik Industries is a worldwide manufacturer of PMMA products sold under the PLEXIGLAS® trademark on the European, Asian, African and Australian continents and under the trademark ACRYLITE® in the Americas.
Evonik Industries is the creative industrial group from Germany. In our core business of specialty chemicals, we are a global leader. In addition, Evonik is an expert in power generation from hard coal and renewable energies, and one of the largest private residential real estate companies in Germany. Our company’s performance is shaped by creativity, specialization, continuous self-renewal, and reliability.
Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In its fiscal year 2009 about 39,000 employees generated sales of about €13.1 billion and an operating profit (EBITDA) of about €2.0 billion.
In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.