Proper Testing is Critical When Using Tempered Glass in Architecture

Proper Testing is Critical When Using Tempered Glass in Architecture

When scanning any skyline of a major city from a distance, a person’s eyes almost always gravitate towards the highest buildings. However, once inside the city, some of the most interesting structures that are even more aesthetically pleasing are those that contain large transparent decorative glass panels and unique facades made entirely of glass.  Glass architecture tests ones’ common sense on how something so beautiful (and seemingly delicate) can be strong enough to resist/suspend thousands of pounds of force, yet be resilient enough to weather extreme changes in heat, cold, and wind.

 

If it sounds complicated and highly technical to make a solid structure out of glass – it is. W&W Glass, one of the most highly regarded ornamental metal and glass installers in the country, has been engineering and installing architectural glass masterpieces for over 70 years.  They have worked on over a thousand sophisticated, ground-breaking buildings in New York City and throughout North America.  The professionals at W&W understand that using only the highest quality fabricated glass will be sufficient for some of the world’s most iconic buildings and skyscrapers.  More importantly, the W&W Glass pros know most of the issues and potential problems that can be incurred when it comes to designing with structural glass.

 

One of the most heated topics of discussion among architects and construction companies when it comes to point-supported glass structures is spontaneous breakage with tempered glass. There was an article about a point-supported glass application recently installed at the The University of Kansas (KU) DeBruce Center that has been attributed to nickel sulfide breakage of tempered glass.  

 

 

Spontaneous breakage of tempered glass is immediately noticeable because an initial crack exceeding a critical size (depending on its location within the thickness of the glass) causes complete fracture of the plate, typically into very small cube-shaped particles, also known as “dice”. Although the small glass fragments do not present a great threat, this can be a dangerous situation for point-supported applications as there are much higher stresses on the glass than with fully-supported systems like aluminum curtain wall.  Driven by designers requiring greater transparency, more applications utilize glass held in at specific points or glass members to support face glass. These are applications where engineers do not want to see a failure from a public safety perspective, even if it will remain structurally safe until temporarily braced or repaired.

 

 

So why do these lites break without warning?  There are multiple reasons why glass can spontaneously break.  One of the reasons can be from cracking incurred from glass to glass contact during storage or transportation. Large changes in temperature on tinted glass substrates, low-e coatings, ceramic frit paints, films, or uneven shading can cause uneven expansion on the glass (thermal shock) causing breakage as well.  Other reasons could be anything from a weld splatter to a hard impact to a deep scratch that penetrates the tensile strength zone.  However, a rare but increasingly more concerning culprit for spontaneous breakage is the expansion of nickel sulfide (NiS) inclusions.  These inclusions are imperceptible by the naked eye and can cause major issues, often being more prevalent with thicker, heavy tempered glass used for point-supported structural glass applications.  

 

Closeup photo of glass crack caused by nickel sulfide inclusion

(Above photo is a highly magnified close up photo of spontaneous breakage due to a nickel sulfide inclusion. The arrow points to the impurity where the break originated from.) Photo Credit: http://chicagowindowexpert.com/page/2/

 

W&W Glass relies on the time-tested materials and processes of Pilkington Architectural in St. Helens, United Kingdom when it comes to high quality point-supported structural glass systems and materials.  Officials at Pilkington explain the more technical definition of this phenomenon, since they are a float glass manufacturer.  They say that the NiS inclusions as very small, spherical shape, opaque solids, typically 0.1 to 0.5 mm diameter (0.005” to 0.020”) and which change their crystalline phase (Alpha to Beta) and size long after the tempering process.  This Alpha to Beta change makes them expand slightly.  When glass is tempered a NiS inclusion (stone) actually shrinks more than the surrounding glass during the quench cooling.  This sudden quench catches the inclusion in its smaller, hot, Alpha phase, not giving it time to make its usual transition to the slightly larger, cold, Beta phase.

 

You might ask why anyone would consider tempered glass for structural glass projects, especially since NiS inclusions can occur in any batch of float glass from any manufacturer.  Spontaneous breakage due to nickel sulfide inclusions can occur without any load being applied to the glass, at any time, even five or ten years after the glass has been tempered. It may not happen every time a nickel sulfide inclusion is present, however. Tempered glass has been the material of choice for many years in the construction industry for safety applications. It allows the glass to be much stronger to carry or resist greater loads, and to break into small pieces in lieu of sharp shards.  It is a very important product in the industry.  There is a very reliable scientific way to reduce potential for spontaneous breakage due to these inclusions and that is to put the glass through a process called “heat soaking”.  This process helps better insure that if there is an inclusion in the glass that could cause the glass to break spontaneously, it occurs destructively in the safety of a test chamber and not on the job site after installation.

 

Video Describing the Process of Heat Soak Testing provided by PRESS GLASS

 

Currently, there is not a United States standard for heat soaked tempered glass. The standard most often referenced in specifications is the European DIN Standard (EN 14179-1). This standard requires a heat soak test of 290 degrees Celsius (+/-10) for a minimum dwell time of two (2) hours in a heat soak chamber on every lite of tempered glass.  Pilkington Architectural takes it one step further for their Pilkington Planar™ structural glass systems by requiring an eight (8) hour dwell time on EVERY lite of tempered glass.  From their research, this helps them have even greater confidence that they have reduced the probability of spontaneous breakage due to nickel sulfide even further. There is no guarantee from any manufacturer that this will eliminate all risk. Some manufacturers may recommend statistical heat soaking to check one out of so many hundred or thousand lites, but this would not greatly reduce the chances of nickel sulfide inclusions being present, especially for low volume orders like that of structural glass where the fabricator may not know what part of run the issue may be located in. It may be missed entirely with this method.

 

When it comes to tempered glass for structurally glazed point-supported applications, architects, contractors, and owners have the ability to specify 100 percent heat soak testing with a the European DIN (EN 14179-1) Standard or better to help mitigate risk. A small percentage of the glass should not be expected to fail due to nickel sulfide inclusions.  There can be a slight upcharge for this testing from manufacturers, but if this testing is not done, there can be no way of knowing if nickel sulfide inclusions are present until it’s too late.  

The First Milestone of a Great Transformation

It’s been highly anticipated, and it didn’t disappoint. The Hudson Yards project, the largest private development project in New York City’s history, has recently made the first step towards completion with the opening of its first building, 10 Hudson Yards. When the entire initiative is completed in 2025, more than 125,000 people a day will either visit, work at, or call their home Hudson Yards.

 

Great Transformation

 

10 Hudson Yards is located at the northwest corner of Tenth Avenue and West 30th Street. It has connected access to the High Line on the Southwest corner, while the elevated walkway runs parallel in front of the lobby to the South. It is also conveniently located near the new station for the 7 Train Extension. Designed by KPF, the 52-story building ascends to 895 feet. It contains a mix of tenants from name brand retailer Coach, to technology company SAP and cosmetic giant L’Oreal, to name a few.

 

The structure, clad in shingled unitized glass panels, is impressive and evokes a statement of modern sophistication. The building’s crystalline structure terminates in a dramatic point at the top and has columns at the base that straddle over the High Line. The entire building encompasses 1.8 million square feet. Some of the most exciting aspects of the project are the structural glass feature walls for for the lobby and atrium engineered and installed by W&W Glass.

 

Great Transformation

 

Photo Credit: http://newyorkyimby.com/

 

W&W Glass used Optiwhite Low-Iron SGP Laminated Glass with Ipasol Bright Low-e on the #2 surface for the Pilkington Planar™ point-supported cable walls. Custom stainless steel patch fittings and Galfan link-locked cables serve as the support hardware for the 10’ wide glass panels. The 82-foot tall transparent structural glass lobby walls cloak the entire South podium and portions of the West and East. One of the engineering marvels on this facade are the two 10-foot-wide structureless corners supported only by thin stainless steel angles bonded to the inner corners. The Coach atrium is a 207-foot tall trapezoid-shaped Pilkington Planar™ Optiwhite low-iron laminated glass tension cable facade spanning from floors 6 to 21. This wall is highly visible from the High Line when approaching the tower from the South. The interior features a dramatic, high-span open atrium with inset one and two-story, full-height low-iron glass conference rooms on either side. Metal panel coping with LED lights line each level to create a dramatic display of depth. Low-iron floor to ceiling glass corridors in the atrium offer a clear view of the High Line walkway below and downtown Manhattan as well.

 

Great Transformation

 

Photo Credit: http://newyorkyimby.com/

 

Once the project is completed, this progressive expansion will generate approximately $477 million in New York City tax revenues and an estimated $89 million in dedicated MTA taxes and ground lease payments. According to officials at the MTA, this would be enough to either renovate four subway stations, purchase 35 new subway cars, replace 3.6 miles of track and switches, or purchase 136 new houses. Hudson Yards will completely transform the area by providing a much-needed connection between the neighborhood districts of Chelsea and Clinton. From a residential perspective, it will also provide housing, public open space, and amenities that experts say are more critical today than ever before for new developments to thrive.

 

The photos really tell the story. Click here to take a first look at all of the great photos showing W&W Glass’ work on the lobby walls, Coach atrium wall, and interior glass conference rooms. (Photos courtesy of Yimby, 2016) For more information on all the projects completed and underway by W&W Glass, go to wwglass.com and look under the Portfolio Section.

 

W&W Glass LLC is a family owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar™ structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area

Madison Avenue: Rebirth of the Renowned Corporate Power District

For some, Madison Avenue means big advertising.  Madison Avenue is still the home to many large advertising agencies that have shaped the messaging for iconic consumer brands since the 1920s.  The public was given a taste of this mystique through the fictional TV show “Mad Men”, depicting clever advertising companies on Madison Avenue in the 1960s.  But times are changing.  Madison Avenue is now the home of some of the most powerful companies in the world, from finance to legal services to traditional corporate giants.  Recent changes to Madison Avenue are not only in the way one of the world’s most famous avenues does business, but also in its appearance.  Older architecture is now being revamped to meet the needs of younger companies to personify their image and address the needs of a new breed of workforce looking for more amenities.

 

Madison Avenue

 

Photo Credit: www.437madisonave.com

 

Spanning the Eastern block front of Madison Avenue between 49th and 50th Street, 437 Madison is the heartbeat of the city, located near the center of midtown.  Built in 1967 by the William Kaufman Organization, 437 Madison is surrounded by some of the finest restaurants, boutiques, and shops the city has to offer.  It is evident that the original design by the renowned architectural firm of Emery Roth & Sons was very Modernist. It reflects simplicity and balance, with form following function to create a classic style for the modern age.

 

The tale of the tape is impressive.  It’s a 40-story building of over 800,000-square-feet of prime commercial office space.  The owners wanted to give this building and home to some of the most powerful corporations in the world an iconic makeover.  With higher standards required to continue to serve these clients, Fogarty Finger Architecture was hired to reposition the building without completely losing the style, flavor, and rich history Emery Roth & Sons had created back in the late 1960s.

 

Madison Avenue

 

The building renovation featured a redesigned lobby and plaza area; upgraded interior corridors and bathrooms; new building systems and mechanicals; and exterior cleaning and restoration.  The renovations include an upgraded building systems and backup generator, an updated façade and amenities like a private 8,870-square-foot, 15th-floor veritable “garden in the sky” with constructed “plant-scapes” featuring crepe myrtle trees, perennials, and ornamental grasses. This new exterior terrace features glass railings running around the perimeter of the entire area giving occupants spectacular views of St. Patrick’s Cathedral from above as well as a bird’s-eye view of the city below.  Other features include over 5,170-square-feet of paved walkways with tables and chairs in the plaza, free Wi-Fi, new building signage, and fiberglass shades.

 

Madison Avenue

 

A revitalized lobby entrance had to set the tone for the transformation and rebirth of the grandeur the building once had.  Fogarty Finger called upon the expertise of nationally-acclaimed glaziers at W&W Glass to help provide the spark that sets the tone at first glance.  It is one of the most striking aspects of the renovation that can be seen as pedestrians approach the structure.  Ultra-clear low-iron point-supported curved (bent) glass canopies accent the front plaza before entering the arcade.  They are made of Pilkington Optiwhite low-iron SGP laminated glass with custom white gradient “Dot Frit” pattern on the #2 surface.  W&W Glass installed the underslung canopies with Pilkington Planar™ 902 series capped fittings, stainless steel angle spring plates, custom white epoxy-painted curved steel canopy frames.  After walking past the canopies, the visitor is greeted with an expansive transparent Pilkington Planar™ system entry wall utilizing Pilkington Optiwhite low-iron monolithic tempered glass.  The exterior face glass was anchored to #8 mirror finished tension rods with 905 series hardware assemblies. The door portal entrances were designed by W&W to be as slim as possible with concealed, corner-keyed fasteners to provide a striking minimal profile.  The custom door portal frame was fabricated out of stainless steel plate beams with #8 mirror finish as well.

 

The William Kaufman Organization has expertise in renovating office buildings to provide visual statements and operational efficiencies that improve the quality of the workplace as shown by 437 Madison. Value-added renovations like this are attracting new tenants willing to pay higher rents for better amenities and location.  In fact, the renovation is already paying off.  Sage Realty has helped them secure industry giants Harbor Spring Capital and Ospraie Management, hedge fund asset management firms, to long-term leases.

 

W&W Glass LLC is a family owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar™ structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area.

Big Names. Big Audience. Big Impact… with Structural Glass.

In New York City, especially in prime locations such as Times Square, 5th Avenue or Madison Avenue, retailers are vying to be noticed.  More importantly, they are looking to make a statement about their brand presence.  One way to do this is to make their flagship locations stand out.  There’s no better way to do this than using transparent structural glass systems in architecture to allow patrons to notice you from afar and then lure them inside.  Whether it be elegant luxury such as Baccarat crystal, technology-rich products from Microsoft, trendy outerwear from UNIQLO, or to reinforce a brand promise of fashion and quality at an affordable price from H&M fashions, retailers are setting new standards in flagship design.  These four diverse brands needed to make a statement in their Manhattan market locations, so they called on the experts at W&W Glass for their structural glass needs.

 

Baccarat Retail Store Just the mention of Baccarat fills the mind with luxurious accessories made of high quality, elegant crystal.  The store’s distinctive design concept was a new global retail model for the brand, showcasing tableware, lighting, decorative objects, and jewelry to reflect the richness of the Baccarat lifestyle and the brand’s commitment to innovation and excellence. Located at 635 Madison Avenue at 60th Street, Baccarat’s new retail location is 2,800-square-feet, designed by acclaimed architect Rafael de Cárdenas with local project support from Gensler. It was built just in time to celebrate the iconic French crystal house’s commitment to artisanship and innovation ahead of the brand’s 250th anniversary.  When the project architect, Gensler, went about implementing the Baccarat vision created with de Cárdenas, they chose W&W Glass.  The store’s double-height façade features a custom digitally-printed, white fritted glass pattern inspired by the Baccarat’s renowned crystal diamond cut, showcasing the brand’s French heritage.  W&W Glass installed an ultra-clear Optiwhite low-iron Pilkington Planar™ structural glass fin wall system for the vertical wall with the white ceramic frit pattern expression laminated inside the face glass.

 

Structural Glass

 

The store’s distinctive design features individual spaces to showcase Baccarat’s three main product categories: jewelry, home décor, and lighting.  The stores outward appearance is only further enhanced as Baccarat’s iconic lighting takes center stage.  The dark-yet-reflective surface of the silver-black plaster walls with black lacquer insets contrasts with the bright light emanating from Baccarat’s table lamps, floor lamps, sconces, and chandeliers.

 

H&M Times Square With 13 locations in Manhattan alone, H&M (Hennes & Mauritz AB) is well-known in the New York market.  It was founded in Sweden in 1947 and the company’s business concept is to offer fashion and quality at the best price.  This store is located at 4 Times Square.  NYC has the largest concentration of H&M stores in the country, employing over 1,400 people. The approximately 42,000-square-foot location offers collections for ladies, men, young ladies/men and children, with separate “shop in shop” areas for accessories, lingerie, sports apparel, maternity and the brand’s plus-size line, H&M+.

 

Structural Glass

 

The primary architect was Jeffrey Taylor of Taylor Architects.  Being a veteran designer for the retail industry, Mr. Taylor quickly understood that a location in Times Square presented a unique opportunity and set of challenges.  As one of the busiest places in the country, crowded with discerning shoppers, Taylor knew the visual impact of the building was critical to its success.  He decided to work with W&W Glass and the Pilkington Planar™ system to help enhance H&M’s brand of quality merchandise to stand out from the crowd.  The glazing experts decided to use Optiwhite low-iron insulating glass units for the face glass of the vertical walls connected back to Optiwhite low-iron monolithic structural glass fins with Pilkington’s 905 series countersunk fittings.

 

Structural Glass

 

Photo Credit: http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/donald-trump-visits-extra-at-their-new-york-studios-at-h-m-news-photo/460599056

 

This dynamic store embraces modern technology with a digital runway; a virtual catwalk projecting images of guests onto exterior screens that brighten the backdrop of the city that never sleeps. This unique content can also be accessed in real-time through the customers’ social media platforms. The store interior features other digital components such as LED screens, a charging station equipped with iPads, interactive mannequins and much more. Fluorescent fixtures and geometric metal installations further complement the futuristic, tech-savvy store design.

 

UNIQLO Active apparel that is “made for all” is the mantra of UNIQLO. Uniqlo Co., Ltd. is a Japanese casual wear designer, manufacturer, retailer, and has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Fast Retailing Co., Ltd. since November 2005.  As a Japanese company, breaking into the crowded American market is no small chore.  The management knew that a vibrant and progressive New York/Manhattan-based retail location was a key to their brand’s acceptance and growth.

 

Martina Beauty

 

Photo Credit: www.cameronrneilson.com

 

The architects at Gensler created a timeless design with a modern look for the company’s flagship store at 666 5th Avenue.  With over 89,000 square feet of shopping space, this UNIQLO store is the biggest retail location on New York City’s famed 5th Avenue and the largest UNIQLO store in the world. The impressive space features 100 dressing rooms and 50 cash registers, that help keep wait time to a minimum.  UNIQLO offers high quality, stylish basics for men, women, and children.

 

UNIQLO is part of the changing face of Fifth Avenue. It’s no coincidence that Apple’s and Microsoft’s landmark stores are also on the same stretch of 5th Avenue.  The prime property draws massive crowds throughout the year, eager to spend money.  Previously the exclusive home of many of the world’s top luxury brands, like Cartier and Prada, this neighborhood is now the hub of more mainstream clothing brands like H&M, Hollister, Forever 21, and Abercrombie & Fitch that have moved in.

 

Structural Glass

 

This intense competition meant that UNIQLO had to stand out from the rest.  Gensler went to a trusted expert in the glass business in W&W Glass to help make that statement.  The facade was designed to be very transparent, allowing a clear and uninterrupted view to the interior of the store and products inside.  It utilized Pilkington Planar™ Optiwhite low-iron insulating glass units with HP 73/42 Low-e on the #2 surface anchored to Optiwhite low-iron structural glass fins with Pilkington 905 series fittings.  Besides a clean and modern look, the Pilkington Planar™ structural glass system increased visibility while providing a more inviting entrance at the corner of Fifth Avenue and West 53rd Street.

 

Microsoft Manhattan Retail Flagship The name Microsoft signifies cutting edge technology.  That’s why everything associated with the brand needs to reflect its persona and culture.  Their new Manhattan location at 677 Fifth Avenue reflects the new era of products from Microsoft.  Gensler selected W&W Glass to be a critical part of the team due to their expertise with custom solutions and the tight project schedule.  W&W worked with Canadian over-sized glass supplier Agnora and Tripyramid Structures, Inc. of Westford, Massachusetts on the custom stainless steel T-shaped mullions, door portal frame, and tension rods.

 

Structural Glass

 

The facade uses high tension, high strength horizontal cables to support the jumbo sized glass that is structurally silicone-glazed to custom stainless steel flat profile T-shaped mullions. The tension rods span horizontally every 10-feet to act as a wind load support for the suspended vertical tees.  This plan pushed the scale of what was previously accomplished with other cable tension facades before, using glass sizes of 20-foot wide by 10-foot tall.  All fabricators required a refinement of their manufacturing processes to get the components exactly per the project specifications. W&W Glass’ experience in working with these systems allowed them to rise to the challenge of designing and installing a system this complex. It also took a lot of man-power to carefully unload and maneuver the massive lites of multi-ply laminated glass panels weighing well over 1,000 pounds with inches to spare behind the sidewalk shed.

 

Besides the hurdles of a new design, time was critical.  What normally took 14 months had to be reduced to 9 months to hit the new product launch.  W&W took advantage of the close proximity to the jobsite for quick response, as well as a wealth of experience from designing and installing many cable tension facade systems over the years.

 

Structural Glass

 

W&W Glass engineered a facade that reflects the cutting edge design of Microsoft’s new technology by using clean, elegant lines. The entrance was large and transparent in order to showcase Microsoft’s products inside. When the world’s largest retailers need new ideas for jewel-box custom glass enclosures they call on W&W Glass for assistance.

 

W&W Glass LLC is a family owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar™ structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area.

Living Up to the Name and Reputation – Mercedes-Benz Manhattan’s First-Class Exterior

The essence of luxury lines the building. When you enter, a concierge greets you, sales associates await, and flat-screen televisions are always on in the living-room style arrangements with newspapers spread out on coffee tables. Complimentary croissants, gourmet sandwiches, chocolates, espresso, and cold drinks (catered by Dean & Deluca) are part of the experience. There is a giant video installation composed of six-screens-wide by two-screens-tall to give the facility a stadium-type feel, with riveting driving scenes alternating across the full color display. Is this a five-star hotel? Hardly.  It’s the experience provided to all customers at the New York City flagship of one of the most iconic name brands in the automobile industry worldwide. The Mercedes-Benz Manhattan dealership and service center, located on 11th Avenue between 53rd and 54th Streets in Hell’s Kitchen, is a 330,000-square-foot state of the art facility and the cornerstone of Mercedes-Benz USA’s retail operations.

 

This isn’t any ordinary car dealership.  Developed by Two Trees Management, Mercedes-Benz Manhattan is positioned at the base of Mercedes House, named after the luxury car brand.  Two Trees’ Mercedes House is a 900-unit luxury rental building with a private outdoor park, between the two structures, as part of an amenity package that includes a health club, swimming pool, bocce court, and children’s play area. Two Trees chairman David Walentas thought branding the building with the car company seemed right.

 

Mercedes-Benz

 

While the zig-zagged terraced Mercedes House luxury rental project above the dealership, designed by Enrique Norten of TEN Arquitectos, grabs a lion’s share of the attention, the $220 million Mercedes-Benz dealership still might be the best retail design addition to the New York streetscape since the Prada store hit SoHo or Ralph Lauren built his retail mansion on Madison Avenue.  Before this brilliant all glass structure, this neighborhood was often a pass-through for cab drivers and commuters looking for a faster route around West Side Highway traffic. Now there is a reason to stop and take notice.

 

“They were looking for a new space that could make a grand statement, and we had one,” said Walentas. “I thought branding as Mercedes was a natural, as the building would be known as Mercedes no matter what we called it. We knew this neighborhood needed something special to get people over here, and we think we have a sensational design by Enrique Norten.”

 

Servicing over 30,000 of the most discerning shoppers in the world, this is not a franchise. Instead, this is the company-owned crown jewel of the Mercedes-Benz retail outlets for the United States.  Mercedes-Benz Manhattan is the only major car dealership on the stretch that has enough space to showcase their full-lineup of 22 cars in succession. The massive, ten-foot-wide panes of ultra-clear monolithic glass allow sweeping views inside to the cars with minimal visual interruptions. Design and technology are key marketing factors in Mercedes’ global strategy.

 

Mercedes-Benz

 

Photo Credit: www.dimcom.com

 

The building had to reflect that focus, not only from the inside, but also on the exterior to market the vehicles to potential customers who passed by. That’s why architect TEN Arquitectos relied on the expert glaziers at W&W Glass to provide the “Wow factor” and functionality equal to the Mercedes-Benz worldwide allure.

 

W&W Glass determined the best way to provide clear viewing of the new Mercedes-Benz cars was by letting the product make the statement using a transparent Pilkington Planar™ structural glass system with Pilkington Optiwhite low-iron monolithic tempered glass for the face glass attached to Optiwhite low-iron monolithic tempered fins. The system utilized 905 series countersunk stainless steel fittings to mechanically secure the face glass to the fins.

 

By combining Pilkington Planar™ with the vertical range of products available from Pilkington, one of the world’s largest glass makers, superior system performance on both functional and aesthetic levels can be equal to the quality exemplified on the Mercedes-Benz project.

 

Mercedes-Benz

 

Take a 360-degree tour of this project by clicking here.

 

W&W Glass LLC is a family owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar™ structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area.

Glass Enhances Casinos’ Ability To Attract Gamblers

The intention for gamblers when heading to a casino is to go to a place that is full of fun and excitement.  These days, you don’t often have to go far for this experience, as many casinos have sprung up in suburban areas outside of major cities. No matter what distance you are traveling, however, the common goal remains the same… to instantly transport you from the real world into a realm of grandeur and fantasy with dreams of “hitting the big one”.  What may seem easy in theory is very complicated in practice with all of the competition out there. To differentiate these gaming palaces is no easy task when you think of all the parameters owners and state regulators place on these modern gambling halls.

 

In recent years, casino owners and operators have been working with architects to integrate point-supported structural glass as a main feature to help make a big first impression on patrons. W&W Glass has a nationally-acclaimed reputation as an expert in combining artistic design with state-of-the-art structural ingenuity to create some of the most memorable and stunning glass entrances in the country with the Pilkington Planar™ System.  Here are three examples from among over a dozen casinos W&W Glass has had the privilege of transforming.

 

Parx Casino, Bensalem, PA

 

Parx Casino is the number one casino in Pennsylvania and is owned and operated by Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment, Inc.  This highly sought after destination, located just outside Philadelphia, offers exciting gaming, thrilling entertainment, exceptional amenities, and superior customer service with a unique style and upscale flair 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. It features over 200,000 square feet of gaming; 3,500 slot machines; 130 live table games; a premier poker room with 80 poker tables; live racing and simulcast action.

 

Parx Casino

 

Photo Credit: www.caesars.com

 

Greenwood needed to make a memorable impact as guests arrived, so they hired W&W Glass to create stunning back-lit glass façades, two glass canopy-clad porte-cocheres, and all glass entrances.  The structural glass fin walls utilized clear monolithic glass for the face walls and glass fins connected with capped 905 fittings with a #8 highly polished finish.  For the underslung canopies, the canopy glass consists of clear SentryGlas® Interlayer laminated glass with 20% White Dot Frit on the #2 Surface using capped 905 fittings with a #8 highly polished finish.  This is a winner every time.

 

Rivers Casino, Pittsburgh, PA

 

Across the state, Rivers Casino is a highlight of the Pittsburgh downtown nightlife. Named to reflect its location near the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers, Rivers Casino greets excited gamblers from a distance with a massive, conical structural glass tower rising up along the riverfront. Rivers Casino has four restaurants: Grand View Buffet, Ciao, West End Cafe, and Andrew’s Steak & Seafood. It also has four bars, a nightclub, and a 1,000 seat outdoor amphitheater. Drum Bar, located inside the five-story atrium facade, has the best views around to the surrounding mountains through the segmented, structural glass curtain wall. W&W Glass used clear SentryGlas®Interlayer laminated glass for the face walls and clear monolithic glass fins connected with 905 fittings with a machined finish. The fins stopped and started at each structural steel ring beam to help limit the depth to just under 15-inches, while allowing the face glass to run continuous on the outside. This facade is a showstopper, whether it’s day or night.

 

Glass Enhances Casino

 

Horseshoe Casino, Cincinnati, OH

 

The Horseshoe Casino in Cincinnati invites guests and patrons in with a modern, sleek look and feel with a tall structural glass lobby entrance that provides a prominent appearance in the day or night. The two-story casino is 100,000 square feet, housing 2,000 slot machines, 85 table games, and a 31-table “World Series of Poker” room. Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Bobby’s Burger Palace and Jack Binion’s Steak are three of the casino’s four restaurants that are located inside the facility.

 

The Horseshoe Cincinnati is owned and operated by Rock Ohio Caesars, a joint venture between Caesars Entertainment and Dan Gilbert’s Rock Gaming, which also opened Ohio’s first casino, Horseshoe Casino Cleveland, in 2012. W&W Glass teamed up with noted casino architect The Friedmutter Group to create a transparent entrance without leaving anything to chance.  For this casino construction, luck had nothing to do with it.  W&W Glass used the tried and true reliable Pilkington Planar™ System using clear monolithic glass for the vertical walls and fins mounted with 905 fittings.  The grand entrance sets the stage for a fun night of gambling or an elegant dinner out.

 

Glass Enhances Casino

 

Photo Credit: www.caesars.com

 

Casino operators are in the business of numbers and “wowing” guests.  They are consistently seeking out the professionals of W&W Glass to set the tone for their valued guests.

 

W&W Glass LLC is a family owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar™ structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area.

Spectacular Glass Tower Highlights the End of a Long Journey

After decades on the drawing board, the eight-acre segment known as Riverside Center has spawned a pair of residential buildings at 21 West End Avenue and One West End Avenue with three other towers to the west undergoing site preparations.  The shorter of the pair, One West End, has recently topped off its 491-foot tall concrete skeleton and is receiving its curtain wall skin. The project is being developed through a partnership between the Elad Group and Silverstein Properties.

 

One West End is taking shape magnificently with a modern look that maintains a connection to the past.  When complete, the mid-sized building designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli will have 269 “resort-inspired” units. The 42-story building is the first condominium project to come to market in Christian de Portzamparc’s masterfully-designed Riverside Center. Propelled skyward by the still-sizzling Upper West Side residential market (and the dearth of buildable sites). The final phase of the Riverside South master plan is moving swiftly due to expert planning and a mild winter.

 

Glass Tower Highlights

 

One West End creates a dynamic architectural dialogue between past, present, and future. Pelli Clarke Pelli’s design consists of one narrow glass tower perched above a 6-story, Indiana limestone base with a large cantilevered projection. The scale of the tower podium is articulated by a series of landscaped inset terraces stepping back from the tree-filled plaza to the amenity-level roof garden. It is further defined by the angled limestone façade and deeply set punched windows. This pattern is grouped vertically into a larger figure, a motif recalling the scale and rhythms of the Upper West Side’s established residential neighborhoods.

 

Floating above the podium, the glass tower reaches a height of 500 feet while the projection cantilevers 50 feet beyond the podium and 70 feet above West End Avenue. Within the first double-height floor of the cantilever is the residence’s amenity-level lap pool. The massive scale of the glass tower is moderated and softened through the clustering of groups of floors into smaller ‘neighborhoods’. The number of floors in each neighborhood increases as they go up the tower. These neighborhoods are further refined by subtle facets clad in glass and linen-finished stainless steel panels.  The alternating pattern of these facets creates a dramatic woven tapestry of reflections and gentle highlights.

 

There is little doubt that the large podium and volumes of glass above will accentuate the building both inside and out.  The designers, project architects, and owners entrusted W&W Glass to handle the intricacy of the details on how different materials come together. W&W is currently supplying the proper glasses and metals to crisply reflect the surroundings, and providing high-quality aluminum curtain wall systems to ensure the building will last for generations to come.

 

Glass Tower Highlights

 

The custom unitized curtain wall system with integrated zero-sightline operable windows that W&W Glass is installing on the tower was fabricated by Sotawall®. The majority of the amenity level curtain wall areas were designed and supplied by Erie Architectural Products, Inc. The 1-3/16”-inch insulating glass units for all systems were manufactured by Viracon utilizing VRE-1-46 and VRE-1-59 reflective, low-e coated products.

 

This robust 42-story edifice is the second tallest building on West End Avenue, only behind its 521-foot-tall luxury rental neighbor 21 West End. W&W Glass also worked with architect SLCE and Dermot Company, Inc. (client) on the 21 West End project, which broke ground in early 2014 and will be wrapping up sometime this summer.

 

The Riverside Center development is in an excellent location, in close proximity to Riverside Park and Lincoln Center along with having easy access to the West Side Highway.  The views of the Hudson River from all of these new towers will be incredible.  From outdoor terraces to private fitness rooms, these buildings will have all of the luxury amenities buyers and renters have come to expect in these burgeoning districts.  It will make a great addition to the skyline like that of the newly created commercial districts of Hudson Yards and Manhattan West.

 

Glass Tower Highlights

 

Photo Credit: www.elikarealestate.com

 

W&W Glass LLC is a family owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar™ structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area.

 

The Art Begins At the Building Entrance

Upon arrival at an art museum, it’s important to set the stage for a mindful and emotional experience. That is the goal of any piece of art and the responsibility of the Brooklyn Museum of Art (also known as the Brooklyn Museum). The experience must be achieved at every level, from start to finish.

 

Building Entrance

 

Photo Credit: eastbrooklyn.com

 

At the Brooklyn Museum, burgeoning artists and visitors alike can explore an extensive and comprehensive permanent collection that includes ancient Egyptian masterpieces, African art, European paintings, decorative arts, period rooms, and contemporary art. They will also experience intelligent, cutting-edge exhibitions and programs that reflect a fresh perspective on traditional and historical works.

 

Dedicated to the visitor experience, committed to excellence in every aspect of its collections and programs, and drawing on both new and traditional tools of communication, interpretation, and presentation, the Museum aims to serve its diverse public as a dynamic, innovative center for learning through the visual arts.  The building’s architecture must be just as discerning and engaging as the pieces inside to keep up with its mission.

 

Building Entrance

 

Photo Credit: streetsofnewyork411.com

 

Redesigned in 2004 by Polshek Partnership Architects (now Ennead Architects), this modern, elegant space features an expansive, sheer glass pavilion that overlooks a welcoming public plaza.  The brick pier entrances, dividing the pavilion and adjacent lobby enclosed within, are the same bricks that once framed five large front doors.  They have been fully excavated, restored, and permanently exposed in the space.  This grand pavilion artfully melds the historical and contemporary components of the building to emulate and pay homage to the original grand staircase previously leading up to the former main entrance of the Beaux-Arts style facade.  When looking to give the new Museum entrance a revitalized yet progressive, transparent look, Polshek relied upon W&W Glass for structural glass engineering and installation support.

 

Building Entrance

 

With their past experiences with museum institutions like the American Museum of Natural History (also by Polshek Partnership Architects), the expert designers and glaziers at W&W Glass used a custom Pilkington Planar™ structural glass system to achieve the architect’s vision.  For the vertical walls and step-like roof glass, the product chosen was clear SentryGlas® interlayer laminated glass.  The roof glass included a white dot frit pattern on the second surface to help provide better shading for occupants, while allowing comfortable visibility to the sky above.  The enclosure design featured a mixture of hardware, including: Pilkington Planar™ 902 fittings, spider castings, stainless steel stanchions, and stainless steel tension trusses spanning between three-coat epoxy painted steel plate beam rafters.  All elements were chosen for their precision, crafted with the same care as the artwork found inside.

 

Year after year, W&W Glass has earned the trust of the leading architects and institutions, not only in New York, but throughout North America through their supply and installation of complex projects like this.

 

W&W Glass LLC is a family owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar™ structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area.

Metro Transportation Project Highlights

Transportation Means Many Things to Many Different People.

 

Trying to define “transportation” in one category is about as easy as building a car that suits everyone.  In it’s most simplistic form it is a method of moving people from Point A to Point B, but every situation has its unique challenges. Mass transit in a metropolitan area only increases the complexity of transportation. When it comes to architectural design and construction of transit locations, transportation requires the creation of highly visible and functional stations with an appealing, comfortable environment for travelers (who are almost always in a rush to get to their destinations). This is no easy feat.

 

Metro Transportation

 

W&W Glass has over three decades of experience meeting the challenges of renovating or constructing new structural glass enclosures for high-traffic transportation facilities without sacrificing featured design elements. Leading architects and design firms rely on W&W to bring their visions to life no matter what obstacles, issues, or hurdles there may be.

 

Manhattan’s Dyckman Street Station

 

Transportation can be very personal. Not that long ago, if you were in a wheelchair in the Northern Manhattan section of Inwood near Dyckman Street, your mobility to travel was extremely limited. A typical flight of stairs to an elevated subway train platform would have been insurmountable. There were only a limited number of subway stations in the area that were handicap accessible, necessitating creativity and patience for anyone requiring accessibility. W&W Glass was chosen to help with the $31 million upgrade to the station which features a Pilkington Planar™ point-supported  structural glass elevator enclosure with large windows, offering lots of natural light. Also now in place are new concrete platforms, a handicap accessible ramp at the station entrance, canopies with salvaged wood rafters, granite floor tiles, and mosaic tile signage.

 

The glass energy-efficient elevator is the first of its kind to be installed in New York City’s transit system. It features an energy-efficient, reliable, Machine Room-Less (MRL) elevator system. The elevator uses conventional steel cord ropes as hoisting cables operated by a motorized traction hoisting machine installed at the top.

 

Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) West 34th Street Station Entrance

 

The glazing professionals at W&W Glass brought light, height, and depth to the LIRR station on West 34th Street in New York City. For the project, they teamed up with the architecture firm of Kliment Halsband Architects to transform a common place opening into a shining showpiece that is pleasing to the eye and easily spotted from a distance.  This project required using clear laminated glass for the face, vertical walls, and roof supported with sturdy Pilkington Planar™ 905 fittings to connect to the steel structure.

 

Metro Transportation

 

Bowling Green Subway Station

 

In their rush to catch a train, the common traveler may not be able to appreciate the complexity and precision required to construct a functional, yet decorative canopy like W&W Glass accomplished for the overarching Bowling Green Subway Entrance in New York City.  Using a Dattner architectural design, the glaziers expertly constructed the glass canopy system with Pilkington Optiwhite low-iron SentryGlas® Interlayer laminated silk-screened glass with a 40% white dot silk-screen on the second surface. Optiwhite low-iron SentryGlas® Interlayer laminated glass was used for the vertical side walls as well. The glass was secured back to a steel structure with Pilkington Planar™ 905 fittings.

 

W&W Glass understands the challenges of transportation projects because they have repeatedly been the preferred choice to work on many of these types of projects, each requiring customized solutions to suit design aesthetics and performance. They have recently worked on the Expo Center Phase II Train Maintenance Building in Santa Monica, California using Pilkington Planar™ Intrafix insulating glass fin walls.  The Intrafix fittings are completely concealed inside the insulating glass unit without any exposed exterior bolt heads.  They are also a key supplier for the upcoming Third Street Light Rail project (three separate stations with structural glass canopies and walls) in San Francisco, CA, to be completed over the next few years.

 

Metro Transportation

 

For more information on all the metro transportation projects W&W Glass professionals have completed, go to wwglass.com and look under the portfolio section.

 

W&W Glass LLC is a family owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar™ structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area.

Reflections: Time Warner Center

An Entrance Fit for Columbus

 

London may have Piccadilly Circus, but New York City has Columbus Circle, one of the City’s most notable landmarks aptly named for the famed explorer.  This major intersection is the grand gateway to Central Park. Overlooking this traffic hub like a paternal guardian is the Time Warner Center, which is now ranked in the top 150 places to see while visiting New York City.  Time Warner is a twin-tower building developed by AREA Property Partners (formerly known as Apollo Real Estate Advisors) and The Related Companies in New York City. Its design, by David Childs and Mustafa Kemal Abadan of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), consists of two 750-foot (229 m) twin towers bridged by a multi-story atrium podium containing upscale retail shops.

 

 
 

Construction began in November 2000, following the demolition of the New York Coliseum, and a topping-out ceremony was held in February, 2003. The property had the highest-listed market value in New York City, $1.1 billion, in 2006. Originally constructed as the AOL Time Warner Center, the building encircles the western side of Columbus Circle and straddles the border between Midtown and the Upper West Side. The total floor area of 2.8 million square feet (260,000 m2) is divided between offices (notably the offices of Time Warner Inc. and a research and development Center for VMware), residential condominiums, and the Mandarin Oriental, New York hotel. The Shops at Columbus Circle is an upscale shopping mall located in a curving arcade at the base of the building, with a large Whole Foods Market grocery store in the basement.

 

Time Warner Center, one of New York’s most notable mixed-use developments, exemplifies the concept of a “city within a building.” Its twin glass-clad towers, joined at podium level, house an eclectic mix of uses, including retail, CNN television studios, performance venues for Jazz at Lincoln Center, offices, luxury hotel rooms, condominiums, parking, and direct subway access.

 

 

 
 

The complex’s unique form responds directly to its prominent urban context. The void between the soaring towers helped visually restore the 59th Street corridor, blocked since the 1950s, while the podium’s curving façade traces a traffic circle at Central Park’s southwest corner.

 

When SOM looked for expertise in creating an unforgettable visual impact, they turned to W&W Glass, LLC.  The ground-level arcade of shops creates a transparent public space — an effect heightened by patterns in the marble floor that visually extend the sidewalk and street grid into the building through its structural glass facade.

 

 

A multistory cable-net atrium intersects the Center’s two 55-story towers. Spanning 98-feet (30 meters) across and 164-feet (50 meters) tall, this Pilkington Planar™ cable tension system installed by W&W Glass was the largest in North America at the time of its completion. The face glass is Pilkington Optiwhite, low-iron SentryGlas® interlayer laminated glass that has supporting hardware of horizontal and vertical steel tension cables, custom stainless steel patch fittings, and a custom stainless steel plate beam portal frame with canopy outriggers. At the head of the wall there is a massive, 10-foot tall steel truss that was installed across the entire opening (lifted to the top in one piece) to support the weight of the suspended glass wall. There is also a second interior cable-net wall spanning over 60-feet tall, at an inverted slope, creating the “jazz wall” just behind the main entrance wall. This creates a stunning effect when watching a live performance with the picturesque backdrop of Central Park and the bustling circle outside.

 

 
 

The goal of the architects, implemented by W&W Glass, was to highlight the urban beauty of steel and glass of this mixed use facility.  The grandeur of the glass entrance complements the expansive glass-clad facades of floor-to-ceiling windows. The lower part of the tower is occupied with Time Warner offices and studios, and the upper part with exquisite hotel rooms and private residences which have been rumored to have some well-known owners like Ricky Martin, Tom Brady, and Kelly Rippa. While the total tower complex is very compelling, it all begins with the glass and steel entrance.

 

Project Facts

Location: New York, New York

Project Completion: 2004

Site Area: 149,350 s.f.

Project Area: 2,800,000 s.f.

Number of Stories: 53

Building Height: 750 ft

Market: Commercial + Office, Cultural, Hospitality, Mixed Use, Residential

Service: Architecture, Tall Buildings

 

Awards

2005 Award for Excellence: The Americas Urban Land Institute

2004 Masterwork Award Municipal Art Society of New York

2003 Project of the Year New York Construction

 

*SentryGlas® is a registered trademark of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company or its affiliates for its brand of interlayers. It is exclusively licensed by Kuraray and its sub-licensees.

 

W&W Glass LLC is a family owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar™ structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area.

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