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Grand Opening: Foster Foundation Pavilion
Star architect Norman Foster inaugurates Pavilion with bespoke glass facade by FRENER & REIFER.
Pritzker Prize winner Norman Foster is one of the most renowned architects in the world. On his 82nd birthday, he ceremonially opened the Foster Foundation in Madrid, a foundation for architecture and interdisciplinary thinking.
The glass Pavilion, personally designed by Lord Foster, is located in the courtyard of the historic palace in which the Foundation is housed. The new building, whose elegant building envelope was design engineered, fabricated and installed by FRENER & REIFER, will host conferences and exhibitions to provide visitors with an integrated, crossdisciplinary view of architecture, design, technology and art.
World‐famous architect Lord Foster travelled personally to the FRENER & REIFER HQ in Bressanone to work with Franz Reifer on the innovative glass facade of the Foster Foundation pavilion during the design phase in October 2016. The two worked together on the technical details of the future museum’s sleekly elegant facade and large format swing door. The Bressanone team obtained great satisfaction from the inauguration of the Foundation building on June 1, after only three months of highly intensive precision work.
The almost transparent new building fits seamlessly into its century‐old surroundings. Two sides of the pavilion have an all glass facade, consisting of nine large‐format, fivelayer laminated glass windows to hold up the roof. The exhibition area can be entered either through a pivot door or a swing door with an elegant, light appearance, despite its 5.6 x 2.8 m dimensions and 3 t weight. This door with its filigree mirror‐polished stainless steel profile, with 8 mm visible edges and concealed support structure, can be fully opened to bring exhibition items into the interior.
All facade elements, including the swing door were prefabricated by hand to millimetre precision at the FRENER & REIFER production hall in Bressanone, before ‘just‐in‐time’ transportation to Madrid for precise installation. On site, the experienced FRENER & REIFER installers had to lift all the facade elements over a three‐storey building and then thread them precisely through a 2.5 m wide street canyon before putting them into position.
The commissioning of FRENER & REIFER to carry out this personal project in Madrid reflects the trust placed by the star architect in the Bressanone building envelope specialists with over 40 years of experience with difficult facades. Thanks to their technical zeal and vast fund of design know‐how, they were able yet again to find a way of bringing architecture to life.
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