A legend returns
Geographically speaking, camera manufacturer Leica has returned to its roots in Wetzlar, Hesse. It was here, more than 100 years ago, that developer Oskar Barnack invented the first 35 mm camera. The long-established company recently moved into its EUR 60 million new headquarters in Leitz Park on the outskirts of the town. As with Leica products, the construction of the building also called for an enormous level of precision. The same applied to the special glass produced and installed by Glas Wagener.
With its more than 100-year history, Leica is an institution in the optical industry in Germany. Around 650 of Leica’s 1,300 employees worldwide develop and produce cameras, lenses and binoculars at the company’s new 27,000 m2 building in Leitz Park, Wetzlar. It is also from here that the Group’s national and international business is managed. The new corporate headquarters building also offers visitors the World of Leica Experience, where they can take a look at the legendary manufacturing facilities, browse exhibitions on the history of Leica and experience first hand the past, present and future of photography.
Leica products lend shape to the building
The facade design for the new building is based on the existing buildings belonging to other companies in Leitz Park: Curved and circular shapes dominate as the principle theme. Every so often, they alternate with sharp-edged contours. In their form, some elements of the company’s new building recreate various Leica products: a camera, a lens and a pair of binoculars. They dovetail with the adjacent landscapes and the highway running parallel to the building.
“Leica is a byword for maximum precision. The project managers responsible for the project imposed the same high standards on our special glass that was installed in the building,” explains Peter Tückmantel from glass processor Glas Wagener, which is part of the Arnold Glas Group. On the ground floor, a wrap-around, partially curved, five metre high facade in ISOLAR SOLARLUX solar control glass allows people to look into the building. With a g-value of 41 percent, the 900 m2 facade enables the building interior to stay pleasantly cool even on sunny days, despite a high light transmission of 70 percent. Sunshades or power-hungry air conditioners can be dispensed with. And virtually no heat escapes in winter, which cuts heating costs.
Well insulated and illuminated
The Leica administration offices are located on the upper floors behind the punctuated facade in exposed concrete. 1,100 m2 of ISOLAR NEUTRALUX was chosen for the casement windows of the facade. A conscious decision was taken to use double glazing with a Ug-value of 1.0 W/m²K, which ensures optimised heat insulation.
The roof of the foyer, the exhibition area and lounge consist of a total of 400 m2 ISOLAR VISOREX with fibreglass insert. The incident daylight is ideally dispersed and the interior is illuminated without glare. The glass in the overhead area is designed so it can be walked on for cleaning.
- Product brochure ISOLAR VISOREX® white