Dalles de verre
The dalle de verre technique was particularly important in post-war architecture because it was closely linked to the development of concrete architecture. It was considered to be an alternative to leaded lights and a means to transcend traditional stained glass techniques. In Switzerland, the pioneer Alexandre Cingria was one of the first of several stained glass artists to create windows using the dalle de verre technique. The heyday of this monumental art form was between the 1950s and 1980s, but earlier approaches to the technique, such the Steinsprossenfenster (stained glass windows with window bars made of reinforced cement) by Richard Nüscheler, also deserve attention.
However, after around 50 years many of these windows are in a very poor condition. Physical and chemical interactions between reinforced concrete and glass and the often exposed architectural setting pose a special challenge for the conservation of dalle de verre windows and make specific approaches to their preservation necessary. Structural-physical factors also play an important role. In selected case studies, we investigate preservation conditions and causes of deterioration and develop appropriate conservation concepts.
Sophie Wolf, Vitrocentre Romont
- Prof. Felix Wenk und Dr. Johannes Hugenschmidt, Fachstelle Bauwerkserhaltung & zerstörungsfreie Prüfung, Hochschule für Technik Rapperswil
- Dr. Christophe Gosselin, Géotest SA, Le Mont-sur-Lausanne
- Bundesamt für Kultur, Heimatschutz und Denkmalpflege
- Sophie und Karl Binding Stiftung
- UBS Kulturstiftung
Final report of the project (in French)
Wolf, S., Hugenschmidt, J., Gosselin, C. (2022). La dalle de verre: évaluation de méthodes non invasives pour le diagnostic des oeuvres menacées, in: Proceedings of the 11th Forum for the Conservation and Technology of Historic Stained Glass – 2022, 144–150 (download PDF)