high-tech glass dome AFAS fits perfectly • Glass in the picture

The AFAS Experience Center’s majestic glass dome has a diameter of 42 meters and a height of more than 24 meters. The dome covers a theater that can accommodate more than 850 people. The design is from Steef van der Veldt in collaboration with Just Architect† A foyer is located between the theater hall and the glass dome. Octatube was pleased to take on the technical challenge of developing and building this dome with triangular glass panels fully technically. Arjan Klem, senior engineer at Octatube, will discuss the process from design to end result in his presentation during GLASSDAY 2022.

GLASS DAY takes place next Thursday, June 9 at the AFAS Experience Center in Leusden. The event is an initiative of the Glas in Beeld team. Speakers are: Gerard Loozekoot, Sanmukh Bawa, José Zaman, Roland Valckenborg, Anton Peters, Wout Hoogendoorn and Arjan Klem. Ton van der Veldt (founder and member of the board of AFAS Software) guides the participants on GLASS DAY through the AFAS Theater with its spectacular glass dome. AGC Nederland, ThomsaGlass, MaintenanceNL and AYROX help make GLASSDAY 2022 possible.

Arjan Klem

Arjan Klem started in 2012 as an engineer at Octatube and since 2015 he has been a senior engineer at this ‘Design & Build’ partner from Delft. He plays a leading role in the design and realization of complex projects with a diverse team. In addition to the AFAS Dome are examples of projects he worked on, the Capital C Diamond Exchange (Amsterdam), the Tottenham Hotspurs Experience Center (London), the Shopping Passage (Tilburg), the V&A Museum (London), the New Atrium (Amsterdam), the Van Gogh Museum ( Amsterdam), Markthal (Rotterdam) and the glass elevator in Mauritshuis (The Hague).

In the video, Klem talks about the topics he will cover during GLASS DAY 2022. He summarizes his presentation during the video. Just below this post a video with Ton van der Veldt about the AFAS Experience Center.

A thousand glass panels

‘The first question we had to answer in the design phase was how we could design a construction where the glass panels are nicely distributed over the dome. The dome is covered by more than a thousand insulating glass panels that are blindly attached to the rear structure. From the seventh ring, the glass is provided with a dense silkscreen print in the same blue color. This print acts as sun protection. On the inside, these glass panels are clad with acoustic panels.

Tubes and nodes

The construction of the glass dome consists of hollow steel tubes that follow the distribution of the glass plates. The pipes are connected to each other via beautifully designed crosses. Each node connects six tubes. Integrated in the center of the node is a light point that can be rotated individually in all directions to illuminate the foyer. All wires and controls are neatly hidden in the pipes.

Different mock-ups were made, different tests were performed and samples of the cut were made to remove all pediatric diseases from the design before building. We have chosen not to use large prefabricated frames, but instead to work with separate pipes and nodes, which we have assembled on site. The relatively small items are easier to handle. We were able to complete the entire assembly of the giant steel pipe construction with just three people. One person operated the crane while the other two mounted the steel pipes. Our engineers built the dome as a kind of igloo at five days per. ring.

Visually decoupled

Architecturally significant was the visual decoupling of the glass shell from the steel structure. That is why we have designed cast iron, dark blue, coated feet to attach the glass plates to the steel structure. These feet ensure that the glass shell appears to be loosely folded over the steel structure. In addition to the supports, we have also custom-made the rubbers for optimal closing of the glass panels’, says Klem.

Ton van der Veldt (founder and member of the board of AFAS Software) guides the participants on GLASS DAY through the AFAS Theater with its spectacular glass dome. Video source: Dura Vermeer.

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