Schott: Shining Symbol

Since February, the main stock trading hall in Frankfurt/Main has been glowing in new splendor. The seven round trading areas are particularly striking.

Thanks to the specialized glass “Opalika” from SCHOTT, they glisten evenly in light moods ranging between white and blue to truly make their mark on what goes on inside Germany’s leading financial center.

The seven trading counters inside the main hall at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange are familiar to many. Each day, they light up in the background while television reporters summarize the events of the trading day, for instance on Germany’s “Börse im Ersten”, that is broadcast just before the Tagesschau at 8:00 p.m.

With the remodeling that was completed in February, Deutsche Börse was seeking to create a modern and clear appearance for the main trading hall of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. “We were interested in making use of blue and white, the colors of the Deutsche Börse, and utilizing modern materials,” explains René Walkenhorst from Atelier Brückner in Stuttgart, the company that accompanied the remodeling that took place during trading over a period of five months from an architectural standpoint.

Thanks to “Opalika” from SCHOTT, the trading counters where 70 lead brokers take trading orders now unfold their special luminance. “Opalika disperses light in a neutral color very evenly so that even very small light sources found behind the glass are visible. At the same time, the satined glass has a pleasant surface feeling and features a soil-resistant and easy-to-clean surface, thanks to its “Clearshield” coating. This made it possible for us to execute our design ideas very effectively,” explains Walkenhorst.

These design ideas were executed by the glass finishing specialists at First Glas GmbH in Berlin. “The challenge was to implement the designs we received from the architects using the specialized glass Opalika. But, because this illuminated furniture is to be used on a daily basis for decades, we had to take strict requirements into consideration with respect to fire protection, glass statics, impact loads and shatter protection,” explains Frank Sagurna, Managing Director of First Glas.

First Glas beveled the edges of the roughly 1.80 x 1.20 meter “Opalika” panes in order to subject them to a bending process that results in as little tension as possible. After all, “Opalika” consists of two panes of optical white glass and a white flashed opal glass that are fused using a drawing technique. The white flashed opal glass layer possesses the unique capability of dispersing light very evenly. Then, the glass statics were optimized by adding guides and bonding along the top and bottom sides and applying a shatter-protection film to the inside of the panes. Finally, the outside layer was sand-blasted to roughen it and sealed with the “Clearshield” coating.

Thanks to its excellent light dispersion “Opalika” is used mainly in illuminated ceilings, such as the one at the Sony Style Store at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin or for colored backlit partitions, like those at the newly opened AUDI showroom in Tokyo. Even renowned designers like Tobias Grau or Philippe Starck have discovered the “brilliant” advantages that “Opalika” has to offer for their light fixtures.

Since February of 2007, it has also been giving the round trading counters at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange their bright symbolic power.

600450 Schott: Shining Symbol glassonweb.com

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