Digital Printing Featured on English Office Building

The English town of Reading in the Royal County of Berkshire has a new architectural attraction: The One Reading Central office building, which features a 38-m high piece of glass on which an image of the townscape is printed. To get the art onto the glass, the motif, by the London glass designer Graham Jones, was first digitized and then transferred onto the glass surface by Interpane at its Hildesheim facility using ceramic digital printing.

The new office building is also an energy-efficient construction: With the thermal insulation glazing iplus neutral E in the unheated stairway and ipasol neutral solar control glazing in the offices, the energy requirements are so low that the building has achieved a BREEAM rating of Excellent, according to the company.

One Reading Central stands more than 20,000 square meters of office space over ten stories. Featuring light blue and mellow green tones, the flowery piece of art on the facade displays detailed structures and delicate shapes, in which even some brush strokes are visible.

The draft was transferred using ceramic multicolour digital printing. For this, the picture had to be digitized, saved into a file, and typographically transformed. During this process, the graphic designers from Interpane worked in close cooperation with the artist. In the end, the computer-based version consisted of 55 layers with individual colors and shapes. Using this data, the printing machine transferred the picture onto the glass at high resolution (up to 720 dpi) using special print heads. Subsequent burning-in of the ceramic paint permanently fused the motif onto the glass surface.

In addition, preparation time for the artwork took six weeks, while printing onto the 100 glass lite with a total area of 285 square meters only took two weeks. The printed glass elements were later processed into insulating glass units.