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April, 2007 - Nr. 4


The Editor
Return of Spring
Hoffnung im Frühling
Der Osterspaziergang
Let Us Be Lovers
Paul Bernhard Berghorn
An Austrian Delight
K-W & Beyond
Musings of a "Schulleiter"
The Club
Herwig Wandschneider
50th Treaties of Rome
Dick reports...
Sybille reports
Ham Se det jehört?
Alicier Arts Concert
The Merry Widow
Mooredale Concert Season Concludes
CanStage Presents
Orchestra Toronto
Backstage Toronto 2007
Kristine Bogyo
Living Arts Centre
Deborah Voigt, soprano
Combat Climate Change
Glass Sky Bridge

German Firm Delivers Glass for Grand Canyon Skywalk

   TWIG - The horseshoe-shaped "Skywalk" that is cantilevered off a 1200 meter precipice in Arizona is something of a window on the Grand Canyon. The bowed glass that gives visitors a bird’s eye view of the canyon and the Hualapai Reservation below came from a tiny firm in Berlin.

Döring Glas is a classic example of the small and mid-sized firms known as the Mittelstand, which is a major engine for technical innovation and jobs in the German economy. Just thirty men and women work at Döring Glas in the Spandau district of Berlin, where they carefully bend massive slabs of glass at temperatures as high as 600 degrees Celsius.

Founded over 70 years ago, Döring Glas has shaped the glass panels that decorate the facades of modern temples of commerce, science, and government in metropolises from Berlin to London.

The order for the Skywalk entailed 49 glass panels, most of them bowed, that make up the railing that will keep peering tourists safely on the glass walkway. The thickness of the glass required to withstand the weight of 120 tourists and sometimes severe weather presented the expert Berlin glass benders with special problems.

"The thicker the glass, the harder it is to bend," said Uwe Rauschning, director of sales for Döring Glas, according to the Netzeitung. Higher temperatures allowed the glass experts to bend the hefty panels, but also increased the risk of compromising the optical clarity of the glass – a priority on this high-visibility project.

The Berlin glass experts met the challenge by working around the clock for a month to finish the panels to deliver them in time for the Skywalk’s opening on March 28.

"I was very proud to be able to work on a project like this," said glass bender Heiko Hillmann. "It was not just any order, but something really special."
Republished with permission from "The Week in Germany"


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