At first glance, the glass-observation boxes that jut out of the Willis Tower’s 103rd floor don’t look all that safe—and that is exactly the point. The SOM-designed attraction, known as the Ledge, opened in 2009 and offers “thrill seekers,” “death defiers,” and “people who can wait in a really long line” the chance to step outside of the iconic skyscraper and look straight down at the streets of Chicago, 1,353-feet below. The floor of the suspended structure is comprised of 1.5-inch laminated glass panels, which can hold 10,000 pounds and withstand four tons of pressure. So, the danger is all imagined, right? Well, it certainly didn’t feel that way for a California family who visited last night.
Dutch firm MVRDV is creating a new office building in Hong Kong, and by the looks of the renderings, people will be really happy to work there. The project actually entails the transformation of the Cheung Fai Warehouse, a 14-story industrial building that currently sits on a busy corner in the city’s designated business area of East Kowloon. MVRDV will be stripping the structure to its concrete infrastructural core before filling the frame with glass and stainless steel in order to define the new office spaces.
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A renovation and addition bring an historic church complex into the 21st century.
The Diocese of Toronto approached architectsAlliance (aA) about renovating the St. James Cathedral Centre with two objectives in mind. On a practical level, they wanted more space for the cathedral’s outreach program and the Diocesan archives, as well as quarters for the Dean of the Cathedral and visitors. At the same time, the Anglican leadership wanted to make a statement about the Church’s relevance to contemporary Canadian society. “The idea of the addition was to convey an image of the Church itself as a kind of more open institution, much more transparent and contemporary,” said aA’s Rob Cadeau. “[It was] really driven by the dean, who wanted to refresh the image of the Church.” Read More
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The glass, stone, and metal exterior of the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex evokes the strength and agility of a college athlete.
The superhero and the Samurai. That’s where Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects (ZGF) began their design of the Hatfield-Dowlin Complex at the University of Oregon. The football player, the architects imagined, is like Batman: stealthy and strong, he came to his powers not by supernatural accident, but through relentless training. At the same time, the athlete is a highly skilled warrior, the modern-day equivalent of Japanese military nobility. The facade of the new football training facility materializes these ideas in glass, stone, and metal. Dominated by horizontal expanses of tinted glass, it is powerful but not foreboding. ZGF offers the analogy to a suit of armor: the building’s skin balances protection and connection, solidity and agility.
As the buzzword “transparency” gains greater meaning in product specification, glass is an energy-saving, sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing option.
3form’s Pressed Glass is newly available in the Strand pattern (above), a compressed interlayer of fine gauge threads in three monochromatic colorways. It can be further customized through color matching, etching, and fritting options. Available in widths as large as 48 inches and lengths of 120 inches, it can be specified in either a 5/16-inch or 1 5/16-inch gauge thickness. Its inherent strength meets ANSI Z97.1 standards.
On September 11th, the Architects Forum Glass+Performance in Atlanta, Georgia presents some of the biggest names in architecture for a symposium of diverse programs, esteemed speakers, and informative dialogues, all in the name of glass. As part of GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door Exposition, The Architect’s Newspaper and Glass Magazine have teamed up to develop a spectacular lineup addressing the multiplicity of uses of architectural and decorative glass. Registration allows attendees access to the exciting events of the day, including a keynote address by architect Neil M. Denari, as well as entrance to the three day GlassBuild America Trade Show Floor and five Continuing Education Units from the American Institute of Architects.
AN’s distinctive Facades+PERFORMANCE conference in Chicago provides participants the exclusive opportunity to engage in in-depth dialogue with frontrunners in the architecture, fabrication, and engineering industries. On October 25th at the Illinois Institute of Technology, workshop leaders such as Sophie Pennetier, Project Engineer at SHoP, will lead intimate discussions conducive to innovation and creative problem-solving. Topics including bent glass, designing for wood fabrication in complex geometries, and integrating performance are on the lineup.
For thousands of years, it has been widely acknowledged that glass is not only a compelling material, but is unbreakable in compression. More recently, glass as an innovative facade technology has steadily surfaced, propelled mainly by prominent international building designers pursuing transparency in building facades. At The Architects Forum Glass+Performance on September 11 at the GlassBuild America expo in Atlanta, Michael Ludvik of M. Ludvik Engineering will present about structural glass in a session titled Structural Glass: Ancient Material Modern Treatment.
To explore glass as an appealing facade material, Ludvik will provide project examples including the TKTS Booth at Times Square, the Canopies at the Lincoln Center, and the Sky Dive Dubai wind tunnels. The work is characterized by an architecturally sensitive first principles approach.
Ludvik is a structural engineer who gives particular attention to structural glass. Since graduating from the University of Sydney with a BE in Civil Engineering, he has worked as an engineer at notable firms such as Arup, Hardesty & Hanover, and Dewhurst Macfarlane & Partners. His Brooklyn-based firm M. Ludvik & Co. offers structural, glass, and facade engineering services for both architects and contractors.
Register here to hear Ludvik speak about structural glass at Glass+Performance on September 11, 2013!
Earlier this year, AN assembled a list of the most prominent projects rising in Miami. One of the developments, the Herzog & de Meuron–designed Pérez Art Museum (PAMM, formerly the Miami Art Museum), is nearing completion and is scheduled to open to the public by the end of the year. At The Architects Forum Glass+Performance on September 11th in Atlanta, key participants, including Peter Arbour of seele, Vinu Abraham of Architectural Testing, and Emil Hoogendoorn of John Moriarty & Associates will present on the ambitious design and construction process of the Miami Art Museum facade, calling the endeavor The Biggest Glass in Miami Dade County.