Ian Ritchie Architects

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Messe-Leipzig Glass Hall

Leipzig Neue Messe. Etching by Ian RitchieHaving won an international competition in 1992, Professor Marg of gmp Architekten invited Ian Ritchie Architects to collaborate with IPP Ingenieurbüro and HL-Technik in the design and realisation of the huge glass ‘winter garden’ – the centrepiece of the new Leipzig International Exhibition Centre.

The glass hall is 244m long, 80m wide and 30m high at the apex – enclosing 350,000m3 – the world’s largest. It includes four separate single storey stone faced buildings for catering, shopping and cloakroom facilities. There is a designated central performance area, and reception, relaxation and meeting areas for conference delegates. Six bridges run through and across the hall 5m above the main floor level. Externally they are enclosed in openable curved glass, linking to the exhibition halls and conference centre. A further bridge links the glass hall at the east end with the other entrance pavilion across a water landscape.

Our design concept achieved simplicity of construction with elegance and economy, allowing the glass hall to appear as a filigree shell within the site’s central landscape. Its vaulted structure is composed of an external orthogonal single layer grid shell of uniform tube diameter stiffened by primary arches at 25m centres. The envelope is composed of low-iron PPG starphire® laminated glass panels 1.5m x 3.125m, suspended 0.5m below the grid shell, and includes discreet perimeter ventilation and fire escape exits at low level, and ventilation/smoke extract “butterfly” openings at high level. Entrances are located in both end walls.

In summer, the opening vents and zones of white fritting on the glass maintain a controlled environment. During exceptionally hot weather de-ionised water can be run from the apex over the glass vault to create evaporative cooling. In winter, under floor heating maintains a minimum internal temperature of 8ºC at 2m above ground level when the outside temperature is -10 ºC. Perimeter heating counteracts downdraughts and eliminates condensation. The exterior of the glass vault is cleaned by two robots suspended from an access cradle which travels along the apex above the “butterfly” openings.

The construction of the glass hall was completed in 1995 at a cost of DM60million – 20 million below budget. The New Leipzig Messe opened in April 1996, and was celebrated with the issue of a special German postage stamp.

Books
1/2008 BUILDING THE FUTURE: BUILDING TECHNOLOGY AND CULTURAL HISTORY FROM THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION UNTIL TODAY
ISBN: 978-3-7913-3926-9
1/2007 The Leipzig Glass Hall Royal Academy of Arts
ISBN: 1-905711-01-8
1/2007 STRUCTURE AS ARCHITECTURE: A SOURCE BOOK FOR ARCHITECTS AND STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS
1/2007 A HISTORY OF WESTERN ARCHITECTURE
1/2005 TECHNISCHE MECHANIK FOR BAUINGENIEURE 3 Teubner B.G
ISBN: ISBN-10: 3519100177, ISBN-13: 978-3519100171
1/2005 TECHNISCHE MECHANIK FOR BAUINGENIEURE 2 Teubner B.G
ISBN: ISBN-10: 3519100150, ISBN-13: 978-3519100157
1/2002 THE SECRET OF THE SHADOW: LIGHT AND SHADOW IN ARCHITECTURE DAM
1/2002 DAS GEHEIMNIS DES SCHATTENS: LICHT UND SCHATTEN IN DER ARCHITEKTUR DAM
1/1999 INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN CONSTRUCTION DESIGN Thomas Telford Ltd
ISBN: ISBN-10: 0727726730, ISBN-13: 978-0727726735
1/1996 The Biggest Glass Palace in the World Ellipsis London
ISBN: 1-899858-21-0
1/1991 GLASS ARCHITECTURE IN EUROPE Livre de Pierre, Paris
Journal Articles
09/1999 L'ARCA
11/1997 ARCHITECTUUR and BOUWEN
02/1997 WERK, BAUEN+WOHNEN
01/1997 BYGGEKUNST No1-97
11/1996 ARCHITECTURAL RECORD
09/1996 L'ARCA
06/1996 WORLD ARCHITECTURE
06/1996 DOMUS
06/1996 ARCHITECTS' JOURNAL
04/1996 LEIPZIGER VOLKZEITUNG
04/1996 FINANCIAL TIMES
04/1996 DIE ZEIT
04/1996 ARCHITEKTURA
03/1996 BAUWELT
03/1996 ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW
03/1996 AIT
02/1996 THE TIMES
02/1996 STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING INTERNL.
02/1996 FASSADE/FAÇADE
11/1995 GLASFORUM
10/1995 GLASFORUM
09/1995 VETRO
07/1995 THE BUILDER
06/1995 KULTUR-CHRONIK BRDNO 3
06/1995 ARCHITECTS' JOURNAL
04/1995 CIVIL ENGINEER INTERNATIONAL
03/1995 NEW BUILDER
01/1995 LEIPZIGER VOLKZEITUNG
09/1994 GLASFORUM
04/1994 BAUEN WOHNEN FREIZEIT
11/1993 LEIPZIGER VOLKZEITUNG
08/1993 ICE CIVIL ENGINEERING

Messe-Leipzig Glass Hall

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