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With the general spirit of optimism and restoration after World War II, new experimental shapes were developed in the world of arts and architecture. Church construction experienced a true ‘building boom’ at that time. Particular consideration was given to the development of interior colour and light. Glazed surfaces were designed as illuminating walls rather than as windows in the classical sense. Sacral and architectural designs were restricted to clear lines and shapes, which were however interspersed by a metaphysical concept of light and interior design. Both the design and the materials were reduced to the essential. It was in this artistic era that the idea of glazing in concrete was born.

Glazing in concrete consists mainly of thick glass (‘Dalles-de-verre’, 3cm thick cast glass) cast, broken or cut pieces of thick glass. The individual elements are not traditionally joined by lead strips but by reinforced concrete. The pieces of thick glass are positioned in a steel reinforcement framework, which is then cast with concrete. The integrated static scaffold creates almost unlimited possibilities of form and dimension.


The first problems appeared only 20 years after the installation of the glass. Even though concrete, glass and steel (of similar strength) have almost identical expansion properties, coloured glass will warm up differently depending on the intensity of light and will expand. This causes fine cracks in the concrete, which contribute to the collection of water. Consequently, the concrete will break through the expansion of the steel frame, deformation, cracks in the glass, which pose a risk of collapsing.

The conservation of concrete glazing has long been in discussion. Given the amount of concrete glazing in Germany alone and the already existing damage and pending future problems, the need to conserve these pieces of art is urgent. Conservation and restoration relies on several considerations, the glass-concrete-steel combination, the examination of the mechanism of damage due to external (exogenous) and internal (endogenous) factors and the preservation of the existing status. It is our aim to secure these objects of art for future generations.