Laura Buchner
2018 James Marston Fitch Mid-Career Fellowship
The Luminous Dalle de Verre of Gabriel Loire: The Fabrication, Deterioration, and Conservation of Faceted Glass.

Dalle de verre, also known as faceted glass, was developed in France in the late 1920s and early 1930s, during a period of technical advances in reinforced concrete, and peaked from 1955 to 1975. Conservator Laura Buchner will research the fabrication methods, deterioration patterns and conservation techniques of dalle de verre, focusing on panels designed by the prolific French stained glass artist Gabriel Loire. Through her Fitch-funded research, Buchner will be able to effectively characterize decay mechanisms towards the goal of informing conservation decisions associated with dalle de verre, a hand-crafted material.

“Modern architectural heritage is increasingly the subject of preservation efforts, as innovative mid-century structures face on-going deterioration and risk of demolition. Understanding the technical evolution and performance of the unique materials comprising Modern architecture is paramount to safeguarding these structures,” says Laura Buchner, 2018 Fitch Fellow. Previous academic research associated with the conservation of dalle de verre has includes historical overviews and studies of glass deterioration, however, the material variations of the dalle de verre components have yet to be adequately studied, leaving questions regarding the role of concrete, epoxy, and glass variations in dalle de verre deterioration.

Dalle de verre structures in the United States are geographically widespread, including the First Presbyterian Church in Stamford, CT; St. Mark’s Catholic Church in Kenosha, WI; Providence Heights College Chapel in Issaquah-Pine Lake, WA; and the Barcardi Rum Building in Miami, FL, with 576 square meters of dalle de verre glass panels.

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