XXL Glass Assembly at the Elbe Philharmonic Hall

Assembly of panoramic panes with the MRK 86.0
Image: Heavydrive


Heavydrive fits panoramic panes for Hamburgs newest landmark

With its spectacular architecture and unparalleled acoustics, the Elbe Philharmonic Hall in Hamburg has been a magnet for visitors from all over the world since its opening on 11 January 2017. Tapfheim-based assembly specialists, Heavydrive GmbH, used their devices to fit the extremely large panoramic panes and wave-like glass panes on the sea-facing side of the building.


Exceptional view of Hamburg port

Constructing this futuristic building was quite an affair. The panoramic panes in the Stoertebeker Beer & Dine Restaurant give customers an exceptional view of Hamburg port. To create this, panes measuring 2980mm high and 4680mm wide were set in at an angle over two floors. For the complicated assembly of the 800kg glass panes, Heavydrive GmbH was supported with special equipment from window and façade construction company Rommel. Using a building crane and the VSG 900 KS vacuum suction system, the XXL panes were first raised above the building.

The lotus effect of the panes was another challenge for the team. The glass panes are specially coated on the outside to allow water and dirt to run off. This means the panes have an extremely smooth surface and don’t work with standard suction devices, so the vacuum suction system was kitted out with special suction pads to ensure safe assembly. As there was nowhere on the sea-facing side of the building to stabilise the devices, the façade elements were basically lifted over the building. With the MRK 86.0 mini crawler crane the operator was then able to move the panes into the structure and fit them exactly to the millimetre.


Complex assembly of wave-like panes


Assembling the curved glass panes was just as tricky. The Gundelfing-based company Gartner hired the VSG 1200 KR vacuum suction system to install the oversized panes and their fittings. The system has more than 48 suction pads. These fit the curved panes perfectly and can suction both sides simultaneously (convex and concave) on a radius of at least 450mm. The system can also rotate the suctioned panes by 360 degrees and pivot them by 90 degrees. This also makes transport easier: using the suction feature, the glass panes are held horizontally in the transport crate, lifted out and finally pivoted into position for assembly. The vacuum suction system for curved panes has a lifting capacity of 250kg to 5,000kg and is available to rent from Heavydrive.


In the Elbe Philharmonic Hall, the VSG 1200 KR was used to move every single one of the 1,200kg curved panes diagonally through the building. Because these panes are embellished and have a lotus effect, all of the panes were suctioned from the inside and lifted into position.


Façades on the sea-facing side of the Hamburg Elbe Philharmonic Hall
Image: Heavydrive

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