Architectura Prodesarrollo of Mexico City designed freestanding laminated glass stairs and a stunning, large and impressive curved laminated glass balustrade, both incorporating DuPont™ Butacite® PVB, that form the interior design centerpiece of the prestigious Ford Dealers' Association building in Mexico City. The association represents the interests of the country's 200 Ford dealers.
Glazing specialist firm Klyp was responsible for engineering and installing the staircase. Klyp's general manager, architect Pedro De La Peza commented: "Impact tests devised to test the strength of the laminated glass stairway construction included having three men with a joint weight of 240 kg (529 lb) jumping on the stairs, all at the same time, and dropping a 100 kg (220 lb) bag down onto the stairs from a height of one metre."
The stairs are 20 cm (8 in) in width and fixed by metal clips at the edges. The laminated glass construction is 6 mm + 12 mm + 6 mm (0.2 in + 0.5 in + 0.2 in) with two Butacite® PVB interlayers, each of 0.76 mm (30 mil). De La Peza confirmed that the stairs and balustrades passed the strength and impact tests with no problem.
The visually-striking, point-fixed, protective balustrades, consisting of large, 1.2 m (3.9 ft) tall x 1.8 (5.9 ft) wide panels, are dramatically curved to a two-metre radius at the top of the stairway. The glass consists of three lites of 10 mm clear laminated tempered glass, held together by two Butacite® interlayers of 1.52 mm (60 mil) each. The balustrade / handrails continuing down the stairway, which are made of flat laminated glass, are of a 6 mm + 6 mm (0.2 in + 0.2 in) fully tempered, laminated construction incorporating a 0.76 mm (30 mil) Butacite® interlayer.
Javier Sanchez Gil, sales manager at laminator Cristacurva, said: "It was quite a significant challenge to laminate these very complex curved and flat tempered pieces of glass. These are state-of-the-art balustrades; our comprehensive testing showed that they are incredibly tough but look weightless, almost invisible."