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  1. Prinz Optics GmbH
22 December 2014

Colour Effect Glass ‘VarioTrans®’ in the Lobby of One World Trade Center

It was opened on 4 November 2014: the new, breathtaking ‘One World Trade Center’, built by David Childs from the New York architect’s office Skidmore, Owings and Merill (SOM). On that date, the first tenants were able to take possession of the 541m (1,776ft) and 104-storey-high building, thus the fourth tallest construction in the world.

From the beginning of 2015, the house will be open for visitors on the viewing platform on the top four floors and its public restaurant situated there. Each of them will enter this skyscraper, which took eight years to complete, through the entrances located on its north and south sides. Even here the dimensions are breathtaking – both lobbies are 20m (66ft) high and externally generously glazed.

The charisma of the glass installations in front of the lobby’s so-called ‘Baffl Walls’, which can be seen from the outside, is however no less impressive than experiencing this space. ‘VarioTrans®’ colour effect glass made by PRINZ OPTICS has been integrated into this installation. This transparent glass creates colour from light: resulting from its mineral coating, using interference effects, and therefore dependent on the light radiation’s angle of incidence and the observer’s viewing angle.

This is already the third spectacular architectural project within only three years, in which the colour effect glass from Stromberg, Germany, has been used to create ambience combined with efficiency. One year after the Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson, at home in Berlin, had it integrated into the honeycomb design of the facade of Reykjavik’s concert and congress centre ‘Harpa’ in 2011, the terminal of Mumbai airport, also designed by SOM, followed suit.

6,500 circular panes of VarioTrans glass, which project an interplay of colour and light onto the floor, have been inserted there into the hall’s ceiling and column capitals. This impressive installation resulted from the contact made between the CEO of Prinz Optics, Peter Röhlen, and the architect’s office SOM already in 2006.

While the Mumbai project was being swiftly implemented, five years however passed until the contract for the VarioTrans installation for the ‘Freedom Tower’, as it was still referred to at the time, was finally concluded. Starting in 2013 and running until April 2014, PRINZ OPTICS delivered the special glass to New York, where it could then be installed in the lobby. Since the inauguration of the new One World Trade Center at Ground Zero, this towering sight has been receiving its employees as well as its visitors with pride and – incidentally – with the joy of colour.

For more information, please contact Prinz Optics.

Dichroic glass opens up new opportunities for architects and designers to link the functionality of glass with the aesthetic of colour.
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