In a newly completed project in Beverly Hills, Calif., Architect Hagy Belzberg and glass fabricator Pulp Studio used PPG’s Starphire glass to transform a bland three-story office building into a stunning showcase for private equity firm Gores Group.
The building’s two-layer façade combines carved limestone, custom-printed interlayers and slumped glass panels to create a shimmering, multi-textured surface that interacts during the day with sunlight and at night with brightly speckled LED lights.
The aesthetics of the building, however, arejust the beginning.
“The double layer façade system, made from custom slumped glass, helps to regulate indoor air quality in a seasonal fashion by mechanically venting hot air up and out in the summer and heating and circulating the cooler air in the winter,” reads a description on Belzberg’s website. “Opening up the atrium space mirrors this chimney effect from the façade by utilizing an operable skylight to release or retain heat depending on the conditions. Furthermore, the customized pattern interlayer sandwiched within the glass panels selectively filters views, privacy, and light based on specific site conditions and client needs.”
Made from a proprietary low-iron formulation introduced by PPG in 1990, Starphire glass has a visible light transmittance of 91 percent in a standard ¼-inch monolithic lite, according to the company.
“We always specify Starphire glass for projects where aesthetic is the driving force to maintain color neutrality,” says Bernard Lax, chief executive officer of Pulp Studio. Pulp Studio specializes in architectural decorative glasses such as those featured on the Gores Group headquarters and Lax said his firm uses Starphire for about 70 percent of its production.