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

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.

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.

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.

Project Focus: Citi Field

The Major League Baseball playoffs are well underway and all eyes are on the New York Mets, making their first playoff run since 2006.


While you’re watching the next home game at Citi Field, keep an eye out for the structural glass fin wall located just beyond the foul pole in left field. Completed in 2009, the Pilkington Planar™ point-supported glass fin wall encloses a lounge and restaurant that overlooks the entire field so patrons don’t miss any of the action.

 

 
 

A point-supported glass fin system was chosen for this project by world-renowned stadium architect Populous (formerly HOK Sport Venue Event) thanks to its high transparency. This feature area gives spectators a panoramic, bird’s-eye view of the baseball field while protecting them from high humidity in the summer and the brisk October chill in the fall. These systems are a great fit for many outdoor sporting arenas, and Citi Field was no exception.

 

Don’t worry about fly balls! Transparency does not compromise the strength of the glass lites, which are rigorously tested to exceed industry standards like all Pilkington Planar™ manufactured products to assure the highest quality. In the event someone hits a mammoth shot to left, both the glass and the spectators will be fine due to the strength of the fully tempered laminated glass composition designed to safely withstand an impact.

 
 
 
 

Going to a game yourself? Have a look at the structural glass canopies Pilkington manufactured at the gates outside Citi Field. They utilize Optiwhite low-iron glass laminated with “SentryGlas” ionoplast interlayer from Kuraray and custom 905 fittings to ensure you can see the magnificent brick facade above no matter where you’re standing.

 
 
 
 

Next time you turn on the Mets game and someone hits a fly ball into the outfield, remember to keep an eye out for an excellent example of point-supported structural glass. W&W Glass and Pilkington were proud to work on this beautiful ballpark. For other examples of our work on stadiums, make sure to check out our blog on point-supported applications for sports arenas.

 

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.

 

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.

 
 
 
 
The glass fin point-supported facades supplied for Citi Field in Queens, NY and Yankee Stadium’s Mohegan Sun Club (aka The Batter’s Eye) are great examples of systems designed specifically for baseball fields. The wide modules and tall glass lites coupled with monolithic glass fins provide an excellent panorama of the field while keeping onlookers protected from the humid summer air and the occasional fly ball. The Mohegan Sun Club also has Pilkington OptiviewTM anti-reflective coated glass that has custom Pilkington PlanarTM Integral 905 fittings laminated inside the face glass to help limit the distraction to the batter from the reflectivity/glare of the glass and fittings. Meanwhile, guests can enjoy an ideal view and upscale dining experience from the comfort of their luxury bleacher-style seating above the outfield so they don’t miss any of the action.
 
 
 
 
Point-supported applications for sports arenas are a perfect fit. They’re a great example of structural glass being used as a highly functional element for each project, while maintaining a sharp and luxurious aesthetic consistent with the rest of the architecture. This is just one of many applications for point-supported systems, so make sure to check out our blogs on retail store facades and transportation hubs for even more great examples of what these Pilkington Planar™ systems can achieve.
 
 

 

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.

 

Point-Supported Applications for Transportation Hubs

Point-supported glass has been used for a wide range of applications since its introduction over sixty years ago. Previously we’ve discussed how street facing storefront facades  can greatly benefit from point-supported structural glass in order to best display their products. Today we’re going to look at how these systems can be applied at transportation facilities such as airports, cruise terminals and train stations, giving them a classy, luxurious look.  

 

McCarran Airport – Terminal D in Las Vegas, NV is a perfect example of what point-supported systems can achieve for these facilities. The highly transparent cable tension facade provides a great look out at the planes touching down on the tarmac and at the Sin City desert beyond. Aside from providing a great view, the structural glass wall also integrates horizontal shading devices. These devices connect to the cable trusses to help keep the harsh sun out of the eyes of occupants.

 

 
 

On a much smaller scale, point-supported glass canopy systems are great for rail terminals, bus stations, and any outdoor staging area where you need shelter from the elements. The Muni Metro Canopies in San Francisco, CA are great examples of glass canopies that provide function with a unique design. The flexibility of these systems allows for a range of applications and styles that can be suited for any project.

 
 

 
 
The Norfolk Cruise Terminal in Norfolk, VA is another great example of a custom enclosure tailored for a transportation facility. By using a point-supported glass fin wall, the lobby of the terminal provides a high and wide view of the harbor, allowing passengers to view boats as they arrive and depart. It’s a system that’s perfect for the terminal, not unlike McCarran Airport, because it was designed with the facility in mind.
 
 
 
 
Sometimes the style of the project alone can give an impression of luxury and class. The Bowling Green Metro Station in New York City is a great example of a glass canopy that has a simple, but sleek design. It’s more than just a shelter; it’s a statement in the heart of the financial district. The glass canopy is an inviting entrance to passengers.
 
 

 
 

No matter what kind of transportation hub you are designing, point-supported glass facades are a great solution that can be fit to any application. From large, complex structural glass skylights or walls at airport terminals to simple windscreen walls and canopies at bus terminals, the range of styles can fit the needs of any facility. If you’re interested in learning more about how W&W Glass can help you with your next project, feel free to contact us, and we’ll help you get started.

 


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.

Is a Point Supported Glass Facade Right for Your Retail Store?

If you’re a retailer/designer trying to show off a product, you want it to be clearly visible with uninhibited views right at eye level. If you’re promoting your product in a catalog, you want to make sure you use high-quality photography. Likewise, if you own a flagship retail store, you want window shoppers to clearly see your products on display through the glass to maximize brand awareness.

 

Point-supported glass systems are a great solution for any retailer who has a high visibility, prime location storefront. There are various ways that these highly transparent facades can be implemented to meet your needs.

 

The Uniqlo Flagship Retail Store  located at 666 5th Avenue in New York City is a great example of what a low-iron point-supported glass fin system can achieve for a brand. Rising three stories above the hustle and bustle of the city, the Pilkington Planar™ structural glass facade prominently displays its interior retail space with an artistic flair.

 

        

 
 
Baccarat in New York City is another great example of a structural glass storefront that utilizes a low-iron glass fin wall system. The architect created custom artwork that was used for the creation of digitally printed white ceramic frit patterns that were applied inside the laminated glass. This transparent design combined with the semi-transparent, silk-screen patterns allows you to see the retail space behind the facade, while also adding a dramatic high-end design element that reflects the quality of the brand (the pattern just so happens emulate the retailers fine crystal products). The stainless steel signage is also seamlessly connected through the face glass with concealed fasteners. It looks great from the street and warmly invites passers-by to come and get a closer look at the quality products inside.
 
 

 
 
For larger merchandise, such as luxury cars, point-supported glass fin systems are a great way to get attention from the road. Whether you’re viewing from street level or from a distance while driving down a highway, it’s hard not to notice the vehicles on display through a monolithic low-iron, highly transparent point-supported facade like the Mercedes-Benz dealership in midtown Manhattan.
 
 
 
 
Point-supported systems are also a great fit for malls and other retail centers where you want to create a grand shopping entrance from the outside. The Mall at Millenia in Orlando, Florida is an iconic example of the luxury and great design options these systems can provide. Monolithic tempered glass fins have the ability to reach heights of up to fifty feet, which allows for some truly spectacular entrance lobbies that are awe inspiring for patrons!
 
The Mall at Millenia - Photo 11
 

These point-supported systems are the perfect solution for showcasing particular products or proudly displaying the retail space within. If you have any questions about point-supported systems or if you are looking for help designing your next point-supported glass storefront, feel free to contact us 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.

Laminated Glass Fins vs. Tempered Monolithic Fins: Guidelines for Point Supported Glass Applications

If high transparency is a goal for a feature glazing area on your next project, odds are you’ve started looking at point supported glass fin walls as a potential solution. They offer a highly transparent, modern look to any building. With new technology currently available in the market, these systems have the ability to reach new heights with far less mechanical connections. Latest advances in engineering, and improvements in glass fabrication processes and equipment have allowed designers to push the boundaries of what structural glass systems could previously do, making them an excellent choice for your next tall, unsupported span curtain wall area.

 

 
 
In the 1990s and 2000s, most glass fin wall systems utilized ¾” tempered, monolithic vertical glass fins, hung from structure above, with mechanical bolt fitting connections like Pilkington 905 fittings or spider castings to anchor the face glass to the fins at every vertical joint. These Pilkington Planar™ systems performed well for high-span applications, having been fail-safe tested up to 40’-50’ tall without any progressive collapse issues. However, these fins required the use of anti-buckling cables to limit twist at greater heights. They also tended to be extremely deep, taking up over two to three foot of precious lobby/retail space at the base. Architects were looking for a solution for this design issue… they found it with Dupont SentryGlas interlayer laminated, tempered glass fins.
 
 
 
 

The main advantage of using Dupont SentryGlas interlayer laminated glass fins over tempered fins is to add the composite strength of two or three laminated glass lites in lieu of only a ¾” monolithic lite. It allows for shallower fin depths and additional resistance to buckling on spans greater than fifty feet tall without the use of the anti-buckling cables that would otherwise be required. The newest laminated tempered glass fin technology even allows for laminated fins by the European manufacturer Sedak to be produced over 40 feet tall in one piece without using mechanical stainless steel splices to connect smaller fins together! This technology does not come without it’s own set of challenges, however. Procurement, installation, and replacement can often be cost prohibitive on many projects. We recommend that you reach out to prospective vendors to check on manufacturers’ maximum fabrication sizing available, roller-wave distortion tolerances for flatness, bow and warp, edge finishing quality, and glass alignment tolerance to be certain the glass can be produced to the clients specified quality control levels and verify associated system costs to assure product expectations are met within budget.

 
 
 
 

There are a few potential concerns to be aware of when using laminated glass fins. These systems may seem thicker than monolithic fins when viewed from the inside on an angle or from directly behind…even with ultra-clear, low-iron glass. This perception can be attributed to the exposed edges of the laminate, which may not match up cleanly between multiple laminated plies and may have some offset. There may even be a slight noticeable color visible at the interlayer edge between the lites. During laminated glass processing, the interlayer fills the gap between laminated glass lites, often appearing closer to ⅜” instead of ¼” actual thickness. While the interlayer is clear, it will still be somewhat visible when exposed vertically on the back edge of the fin unless a cap is used to obscure the back edge. Hole sizes may also be oversized to allow for tolerance, which could be considered a visual imperfection in some cases.

 

In some low-rise structurally glazed glass mullion systems, additional silicone adhesion surface is required to bond the face glass to the fins that are being used instead of mechanical fasteners through holes. These often require triple-ply glass fins that create much larger visible silicone joints from the exterior that could be as thick 1.5” or more; that’s almost double the size of a typical monolithic fin joint. This may or may not be acceptable to the client, so we always recommend making visits to projects that have a similar designs to ensure overall system quality and visual aesthetics.  

 

Still not sure about what may be the best option? W&W Glass is here to help with free design consultation and specification assistance to make sure you have exactly the right customized Pilkington Planar™ system for your next project. Be sure to visit our Pilkington Planar™ system website for our latest completed projects and stay connected on new projects and industry trends by joining our LinkedIn or signing up for our W&W Glass Facades e-newsletter.

 

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. W&W is the exclusive distributor of Pilkington Planar structural glass systems throughout North America to a network of qualified glazing partners for installation. 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.

Great First Impressions with All Glass Vestibules

There is truth behind the well-known phrase, “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” When it comes to architecture and structural glazing, the expression takes on an even more literal meaning. Whether we admit it or not, the lobby entrance to your building says a lot about first impressions of the businesses and brands represented inside. Vestibules can be such a ubiquitous part of every building that visitors don’t always take notice of them while passing through… unless they help to set the building apart from the rest. At W&W Glass, we recognize the opportunity to turn them into something special that reflects the same level of quality and sophisticated design found on the surrounding building facade.  

 

 
 

Put simply, a vestibule is a small space or entranceway most often employed in all commercial and institutional buildings to provide a passage to connect the exterior and interior environments. These entryways serve to act as a transitional barrier from the weather outside. As contract glaziers, we recognize the important functionality of the vestibule; we want to help to make them look as clean and transparent as possible to meet your architectural design intent while being engineered to meet all structural loading and code requirements.

We hold every component of our projects to the highest standard. That’s why we often utilize the Pilkington Planar™ system to create all glass vestibules that redefine what others think to be possible. We’ve developed custom all glass vestibules for projects such as the Lowell Thomas Communications Center at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York and Charles Schwab in Lone Tree, Colorado. These are great examples of what we can achieve when we seek to push the envelope beyond typical “glass in channel” type entryways with glass side walls and an opaque roof or exposed steel cage structure. They can be seamlessly integrated into many types of point supported structural glass wall systems to not detract from the structural glass wall applications.

 
 

 

By using a glass roof canopy, cantilevered sidelite walls and custom hardware, we can create all glass vestibules that are virtually transparent, allowing for uninterrupted views through the entryway from all angles. Even the overhead door pivot or panic header hardware can be minimized in most cases. This integrated solution is completely customizable for each project, providing a seamless portal between the outside and inside environment with all glass entrance hardware integrated directly in as a complete system package. It’s a high-class, professional looking solution that makes a great first impression!

If you want to make a lasting impression with your next project and think our designs are a great fit, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us today to get started!

 
 
 
 
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.

Creating Lasting Impressions with Glass Canopies

We’ve discussed glass as a structural component when it comes to adding a vertical creative element to your project, but glass has even more applications to heighten the impression your building can make. Glass canopies are a great way to make any outdoor area or lobby entrance stand out, while providing virtually transparent protection from the elements.


Glass canopies are a versatile application that use a variety of minimalistic steel backup structures or laminated glass fins to provide support to overhead or underslung sloped structural glazing. They are a perfect design choice on the front of a building facade, or as a standalone structure to provide cover for places like bus stations or subway entrances as shown by the canopy at the Bowling Green Subway Station in New York City.

 

 

Pilkington Planar™ point supported structural glass canopy systems undergo rigorous testing to ensure they will maintain their integrity under heavy wind, seismic, and snow loads. These canopies can span large expanses from the building as long as the underlying purlins are reinforced with cable tension rod rigging back to the building and are engineered with adequate thicknesses/depths of materials. Typical modules can be as narrow as a few feet on center to as wide as eight to ten feet, depending on maximum snow drift loading and wind loads. Required points of support are analyzed on a case by case basis to determine proper thicknesses by Pilkington to ensure stress and deflection are within acceptable code of practice limits.

 

Pilkington Planar™ requires a minimum of three degrees of slope to eliminate ponding of water in the middle of the laminated glass panels, allowing for very flat canopies. Additionally, Pilkington Planar™ laminated glass is typically bonded with DuPont SentryGlas (formerly DuPont SentryGlasPlus) ionoplast interlayer that is warrantied for exposed edge stability (as the interlayer is water-resistant) to provide even more design flexibility for the architect. This interlayer is also much stiffer than PVB, which allows for the two lites of glass to act as a composite piece of glass, keeping the glass make-ups as thin and economical as possible.

 

Before the glass panels are laminated, they can also be silk-screened or digitally-printed with ceramic frit paint to accommodate any design. These patterns help conceal dirt and bird droppings until cleaning can occur, while allowing for architectural expression and shading of occupants from direct sun. One important consideration for ceramic fritting of canopy glass is the effect of the frit as related to heat build up in the interlayer. Be sure to have the glass system manufacturer check the pattern and color of the frit as it can be very different dependent on glass tint (color) and project location (historic maximum temperatures) to make sure there is no issue with discoloration of the interlayer due to extreme heat. Horizontal ceramic fritted surfaces can get twice as hot as the surrounding temperature due to reflectance/absorption and angle to the sun in different locations! The wide range of fully customizable design options available for glass canopy applications combined with the technical know-how of Pilkington/W&W is what allows canopy structures like the Twelve Oaks Mall in Michigan to create a truly iconic entrance.

 

 

Every component of each Pilkington Planar™ glass canopy system is manufactured, designed and tested by Pilkington, from the laminated glass, to the hardware, and even the backup structure in many cases. This sole source package ensures the highest quality engineered glass canopy available. No matter what design you want to implement, Pilkington Planar™ can provide the means to make it a reality, from start to finish. Check out some of the more intriguing Pilkington Planardesigns W&W Glass/Pilkington Planar have engineered like the lobby entrance to 222 Broadway in New York City, which uses vertical, laminated low-iron glass fins connected directly to low-iron laminated glass outriggers to support an underslung canopy.

 
 

Do you think a point supported structural glass canopy is right for your project? Have a question or comment about one of our previous designs? We’d be happy to assist! Feel free to contact us and we’ll get started.

 

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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