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Inflatable designer ball and mega mirror

Buitink Technology has produced and installed a transparent inflatable globe and giant lightweight mirrors in the atrium of the Justus Lipsius Building in Brussels (Belgium)

In July 2008, France had the presidency of the Council of the European Union. For the re-design of the interior of the EU building Justus Lipsius in Brussels, the French government contracted the well known French architect agency ''Dubuisson Architectes'' in Courbevoie-France.

Transparent globe

An important part of the design is a huge transparent globe (15 m diameter) in the middle of the atrium, printed with the different flags of the members of the European Union. This globe is hanging in the middle of the atrium, with at both sides a giant mirror with a size of 12 x 10 m.

When one is standing right below the globe, the globe can be seen fully in both mirrors. In the middle of the mirrors the EU logo of France is printed. On top of the globe, a ring of LED lighting is installed, showing the different flags in different colors.

The globe is made of transparent ETFE film, printed with the various EU flags. The globe is pressurized by an automatic air system.

ETFE foil

ETFE foil was chosen as:

  • It is one of the strongest foils (enables large size applications);
  • The material is transparent;
  • It is fire retardant (M2, B1 en class 2, NEN 6065);
  • The ball is pressurized easy through an air installation.

The two mirrors of 10 x 12 meters are constructed from aluminum frameworks, cladded with a lightweight (80 g/ sqm) mirror film. Around the framework a gold colored sheeting is placed. The back side of the framework is tensioned with a fine meshed gauze fabric.

Project data

Client: Secrétariat Général de la Présidence Française de l'Union Européenne
Architect: Dubuisson Architectes (Sylvain Dubuisson), Courbevoie, France
Engineering globe: Tentech BV
LED Lighting: Preview, Lighting, France
Inflatable globe: Buitink Technology
Mirrors: Buitink Technology
Year of implementation: 2008


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