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Gaudi's La Pedrera, Barcelona, has translucent stairway using DuPont™ SentryGlas®

Architect’s team aimed to create "a clean and empty space without visible obstacles.”

La Pedrera is an art-nouveau style house built in Barcelona, Spain, completed in 1912 by the much-admired Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926), that has become a Mecca for art lovers visiting the city.

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Laminated glass staircase and balustrade at Gaudi's La Pedrera, a national monument in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo © Cricursa).
n Barcelona firm MBM Arquitectes was retained to convert a partitioned bank office on the ground floor of La Pedrera into a unified space for small-scale public cultural activities, project architect Luis Pau explained that his team aimed to create "a clean and empty space without visible obstacles.” The renovation, completed in mid-2005, included the addition of a "translucent" laminated glass staircase, in the words of the architect, using DuPont™ SentryGlas® and Butacite® interlayers, to connect the lobby space to the first floor.

Pau said: "We designed the translucent laminated glass staircase as much for the outstanding design freedom this high technology laminated glass gives us as for its amazing structural properties. The staircase is at once unequivocally contemporary and, at the same time, respects Gaudi's own architectural language, even underlining it."

Ferran Figuerola of glass fabricator Cricursa commented: "The translucent, 50 mm- (2 in-) thick, laminated stair treads are attached by a point-fixing system whereby four titanium insets laminated into the SentryGlas® structural interlayer fit directly into drilled holes in the laminated glass balustrade, which contains Butacite® interlayer.

The construction of the treads is: two layers of 8 mm (0.3 in), tempered, lowiron glass with a non-slip coating on the top layer; two layers of 15 mm (0.6 in) glass and three separate interlayers of SentryGlas®, each of 1.52 mm (0.060 in) thickness.

"The outstanding mechanical strength and rigidity of DuPont's structural interlayer, and its excellent adhesion to metal, means that this fixing system is sufficient to support the weight of the glass stairway and the balustrade."