The Constantin Brancusi Pavilion, located in Craiova, Romania, sits in the center of a courtyard at the Craiova Art Museum. It was created by architect Dorin Ștefan and completed in 2022. Photo: EUmies.

A glass tribute to renowned Romanian sculptor Constantin Brâncusi was nominated for a 2024 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture / Mies van der Rohe Award (EUmies). The Constantin Brancusi Pavilion, located in Craiova, Romania, sits in the center of a courtyard at the Craiova Art Museum. It was created by architect Dorin Ștefan and completed in 2022.

The glass tribute features a visible glass box along with two underground floors comprising a gathering area, café, exhibition space and conference area. The glass box consists of a prism made from structural glass panels that encloses an egg-like shape of horizontal glass rings supported by structural glass walls. Inside the ovoid shape, the frosted glass rings suggest the negative shape of Brâncuși’s “Maiastra” sculpture.

According to Guenter Uebelacker, managing director of Heavydrive, the work consisted of large glass panes mounted horizontally and vertically in various special arrangements. Visitors ride in a circular glass lift from the ground floor into the glass box above.

Montec GmbH, based in Asbach-Bäumenheim, Germany, supplied the entire assembly planning for the project and installed the earthquake-proof steel substructure and the glass façade. sedak also provided 23 triple-pane laminates from low-iron glass and eight five-layer laminated glass fins.

Uebelacker says that for the glass pavilion, six panes from Finnglass measuring 7.8 feet by 41 feet and weighing 2.8 tons had to be set vertically in grooves. The panes have undulating contours and are narrower at the bottom than at the top. Uebelacker adds that Heavydrive had to develop special bracers to place the wavy glass panes on the lifter’s suction cups.

According to Ștefan, when he started the project around 2014, there were no glass panes larger than 29 feet. He instead planned to use two panes to achieve a height of 39 feet; however, delays in the project allowed for the availability of the 41-foot panes.

The 2024 EUmies Award winners were the Study Pavilion at TU Braunschweig by Gustav Düsing and Max Hacke (Architecture) and SUMA Arquitectura’s Gabriel García Márquez Library (Emerging Architecture).

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