Gutted & revived

From the disused freight railway station to the modern office complex

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Ideas need space to develop. Station F, a disused freight railway station in Paris, is home to the world's largest start-up campus. Company founders have a central platform here with which to present and further develop their visions. A total of 3,000 co-working places for international start-ups have been created on an area of 34,000 m². The glass railing from Glas Marte secures and defines the area without weighing it down.

Industrial style
When the Freyssinet Hall, named after its civil engineer, was built in the 1920s, the delicate ceiling vault made of prestressed concrete just seven centimetres thick was a pioneering technical achievement – the epitome of modernity. It is divided into three naves and is reminiscent of the architecture of churches. The construction, the finesse and the quality of the vaults, which were unique at the time, give the building its elegance.
Today, the 310-metre-long hall spans four floors and three zones: Along the two long sides of the building, the first floor is home to protruding cargo containers, so-called incubators, which house offices and meeting rooms. In terms of colour, the dominant earth tones are interrupted by pure white and clear glass. The resulting industrial style underlines the upswing of the start-ups based here.


The open areas between the container offices serve as public meeting places. In order to secure this platform, a total of 650 metres of GM RAILING® glass railings from Glas Marte were installed in five different areas. The longest glass railing has a total length of 380 metres. A particular challenge was the old building fabric as well as the delicate construction of the historic building. "This was successful thanks to the smooth cooperation with our long-standing French partner Premium Glass, a company that specialises in special glass applications in the high-quality glass and facade sector," says Managing Director Bernhard Feigl. Technicians from Bregenz were also on site to accompany the execution.


The railing modules with abP (general building authority test certificate) are unsurpassable in terms of lightness due to their low construction depth – this was exactly what was in demand in the almost 100-year-old industrial halls with their weightless appearance. GM RAILING® is therefore perfect for securing the various levels of the building. Particular attention was paid to the fastening to the delicate, historic components. Since the existing building was already a little long in the tooth, it was especially important to consider unevenness and different installation situations: Due to its consistent modular design, GM RAILING® is easy to integrate into a wide variety of constructions and allows the planners a unique design freedom. In addition, the Glas Marte glass railing system is the only system in the world – and the only patented one – in which the individual glass panes can be precisely mounted and adjusted in the 1/10 mm range. Nevertheless, assembly is faster than with similar designs, which greatly improves the assembly time and customer benefit.

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