A team from Eyrise, a liquid crystal glazing technology company, provided 182m² of switchable solar glass to create a round skylight for a building project in Zurich. The skylight has a diameter of 15m and sits on top of a white, cylindrical building that is to be a research centre associated with a children’s hospital.
The research centre is set to house laboratories for medical research and teaching. The 54m building comprises nine floors, of which two are underground. Rooms and open workspaces are organised around an atrium which was designed to promote collaboration and knowledge sharing between researchers, students and professors.
“The advantage of our solar-controlled glass lies in its very short switching times, which means that light and heat transmission can remain neutral as weather conditions change,” said Dr Michael Grund, CEO of Eyrise. “We are also able to manufacture the glass and modules in customised sizes and different geometries, so the round shape of the skylight could be produced to enhance the striking design of this futuristic-looking building.”
The skylight is supported by a bespoke metal structure designed by Zurich-based WEMA Glas- und Metallbau. A total of 46 Eyrise s350 liquid crystal solar control glass modules, manufactured as double insulating glass units with liquid crystal mixture E for tinting, are embedded within the structure. From the outside the solar shading is visible but from the inside the glass is clear.
The Swiss architecture firm Herzog and de Meuron designed the hospital and research centre with the intention of creating a single location for medical departments that are spread across the city. The research centre project was supported from the planning phase by the Eyrise engineering team.
Children’s Hospital Zurich is the largest hospital treating children and adolescents in Switzerland, providing over 200 beds. A new hospital is being built to replace the current building and increase capacity. Both the hospital and research centre are due to open at the end of 2024.