The events of March 11, 2004, in Madrid shocked people all over the world. In their design for the memorial next to the Atocha Train Station, the five-member team of architects from Estudio FAM picked up on this image. “We wanted to preserve the most intangible aspects of this day, how people felt, in our building,” says Mauro Gil-Fournier of Estudio FAM in describing his team’s intention. The central element of their design is a transparent cupola upon which the expressions of condolences of thousands of Madrilenians and tourists regarding March 11were printed. The fateful nature of the number 11 (terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001) was now to be emphasised once again in the height of the building 11 meters tall.
FAM Arquitectura y Urbanismo S.L., Madrid (E)
Esaú Acosta, Raquel Buj, Pedro Colón de Carvajal, Mauro
Gil-Fournier, Miguel Jaenicke
Planning of the structural framework
Schlaich Bergermann & Partner, Stuttgart (D)
Avenida Ciudad de Barcelona / Train Station Atocha;
A masoned cylinder made of glass blocks
SCHOTT was the only company that was capable of manufacturing the glass blocks in the desired size that were also able to stand up to severe shifts in temperature. 15,600 glass blocks made from clear borosilicate glass, each of them 30 x 20 x 7 cm in size, formed the glass cylinder – the largest ever to be built. In order to produce the elliptical width of the cylinder, they had to be curved to be convex on the one side and concave on the other. The glass blocks were joined together using a colourless acrylic adhesive that was hardened using UV light. This made it possible to eliminate bonding agents made of steel. The transparency was even extended to the flat roof of the cylinder, which also consists of colorless borosilicate float glass from SCHOTT. Thermally tempered and then bonded together in three layers, it offers the necessary breakage resistance.
Glass blocks and flat glass made from borosilicate glass
Dimensions of the glass blocks: 12 x 8 x 2-3/4 inches
Number of glass blocks: approx. 15,600
Total weight of the glass cylinder: approx. 298 lbs
Total surface area of the glass roof: 678 ft2