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The Sports Hall Facade

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In Zoetermeer, the Netherlands, Dutch conceptual artist Titia Ex was hired to design the facade for the sports hall of a multifunctional civic building. She envisioned the facade as a plastic wall with an image representing girls blowing bubbles, one of which would be covered by two hands. It was an unusual project for the artist, whose work is inspired by space and lighting technology, and rarely involves the use of a motionless graphic.

In Zoetermeer, the Netherlands, Dutch conceptual artist Titia Ex was hired to design the facade for the sports hall of a multifunctional civic building. She envisioned the facade as a plastic wall with an image representing girls blowing bubbles, one of which would be covered by two hands. It was an unusual project for the artist, whose work is inspired by space and lighting technology, and rarely involves the use of a motionless graphic.

The facade comprises 1775 square feet of artistically screen printed glass on the first (outside) surface. First, the blue air-bubble motif was printed using an elliptical dot halftone at 12 lines/centimeter (about 75 lines/inch). Surface four (the inside of the insulating pane of glass) was also screen printed with a semi-translucent light blue ink in a full-surface coat, allowing the design to be effectively illuminated at night, when the entire facade is backlit.

Originally, the artist created pictures of children blowing bubbles, which were to be superimposed onto the bubbles printed in blue, but this approach was rejected due to the expense of making the screens. In the end, it was decided to convert the images of the children into line art that was cut on vinyl film and applied to the glass prior to printing. By simply repositioning the screen relative to the pane of glass, the printer was able to create many different images. After drying the inks, the printer removed the film, manually painted the open areas on the glass where the film had been, and then cured the glass at high temperatures to finish the project. The unusual approach resulted in substantial cost savings.

Read our full update on architectural glass decoration here.

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