Oscar Niemeyer Sphere (2017) Leipzig, Germany
Architectural legend Oscar Niemeyer (1907-2012)
In a factory in Leipzig-Plagwitz for Oscar Niemeyer. The man from 104 years at the time had promised him a design which he had also delivered in 2012 a coffee / bar and lounge in a concrete ball sliced above the cobblestones on the Kirow site. “Oscar Niemeyer Sphere” is carried out by Harald Kern Architekturatelier, Leipzig, in partnership with Jair Valera, Rio de Janeiro. Valera had been a friend and right-hand man in Niemeyer's studio since the mid-years 1970 and therefore knew the architect of the century very well.
The concrete ball, whose two large openings are closed by geodesic steel frames made of glass ball segments, measured 12 m in diameter and is made of white concrete (exposed concrete class SB 4). The concrete skin of the sphere has a thickness of 200 mm over its entire surface and is insulated on the inside. The sphere itself protrudes into the street from a red reinforced concrete well at a height of about 8 m. The Sphere has three floors: a lower floor, which is mainly used to accommodate building services, a coffee level / bar central (about 45 m²) and the living room (about 91 m²), whose ground is level the equatorial plane of the sphere is located. The service is hidden by a tiled partition on which a drawing by Oscar Niemeyer will be seen. The company is the same that set up the mansions in Dessau for BFM Architects (DBZ 09 | 2014).
The realization of the Geodesic Sphere which began at the end of April 2017, and commissioning is scheduled for these months it will provide space for approximately 50 guests..
The sphere was developed in 3D (roughing in formwork including SHK), the Concrete worker had 2D plans in hand.
There were delays in the construction process, in particular due to the manufacture of the glass elements, that two companies have failed. In the meantime, a metallurgist has been found, confident in production and able to prove it in model buildings. Merck responds to excessive heat input with Liquid Crystal Windows liquid crystal technology (LCW) she developed. The crystals are electrically aligned so that the glass surfaces can be switched from transparent to opaque. Furthermore, LCW technology allows color change, from a very transparent light gray to almost black.