Point-Supported Glass for Sports Arenas
At W&W Glass, we often view glass as a work of art as much as we do an integral cladding element to a project. It can be easy to value form over function when looking at some of our more unique projects in our portfolio, but every once in a while it’s nice to remind ourselves that sometimes the most important element of glass is that you can see through it.
For point-supported applications, high transparency is always the goal. Whether it’s to let the sunlight in to illuminate a building interior or to invite window shoppers into a store to have a closer look. There are many applications where highly transparent facades serve an important function as much as an aesthetic statement.
When new technology emerged in the 1960’s for point-supported systems, it became clear that these systems could be used for more than just interior racquetball courts. They could be used as the exterior cladding for sporting venues such as racetracks and stadiums. A highly transparent facade could provide a tall and wide, unobstructed view of the track or field while keeping the spectators sheltered from the elements.
Over the years, we’ve seen this niche expand dramatically. Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas is a great example of an older application that has stood the test of time. It is a simple, yet highly functional Pilkington Planar™ structural glass wall with 905 drilled countersunk fittings on suspended cantilevered glass fins. The monolithic glass facade encloses the spectators in an indoor environment where they can enjoy the race from a comfortable vantage point. The same can be said of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This pagoda inspired, tiered structure has multiple monolithic glass fin point-supported facades that enclose sections of each level, allowing for an exhilarating experience as the cars race to the finish line. Since then, cutting edge technology has come a long way…allowing the industry to push the boundaries of what can be possible with larger, heavier glass make-ups and more minimal supports.
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 point-supported 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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