An Architectural Wing Beat

The Islamic Collection in the Cour Visconti, Louvre, is open to the public since September 22. The optical highlight in the course of this opening was the work of an Austrian company, Waagner-Biro. The steel construction division was commissioned to realise the feature roof and highly transparent facades for the space that will house the Islamic collection. The challenge posed to the architects was to integrate the new roof organically into the overall historical group of buildings. The exterior of the building was to be transparent, like a veil. The result is a technical-architectural masterpiece that resembles the wing of a mayfly. The spectacular installation was designed by the Italian-French architects Mario Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti, while Waagner-Biro was commissioned with the technically demanding implementation.
Rudolf Estermann, Chairman of Waagner-Biro: “Spectacular designs are what drive our specialists to the limits of the feasible, while at the same time motivating them to perform at an unbelievably high level. The roofing of the Cour Visconti is one of the most impressive examples of how Waagner-Biro Steel-Glass Technology can convert bold visions to reality with great talent and know-how.”
Based on almost 160 years of experience in steel construction, the complex challenge of a multi-layered free form became built reality. 1,200 tonnes of steel, 1,806 different panes of glass resulting from a geometric process of optimisation, 2,352 different expanded metal panels for the roof and 2,352 equally different expanded metal panels for the suspended ceilings – all of them multi-layered and translucent – were used for the 1,700m2 roof and the 460m2 façade.