Building Glass Bridges

Reston Town Center in Reston, Va., features office, retail, restaurant, hotel and residential spaces. Part of the development connects a 28-story office building with a 20-story office structure for a combined one million square feet.  A two-story atrium bridge is located on the seventh floor.

Pillar Construction used StoVentec Rainscreen Systems for external cladding. When they learned of Duda Paine Architects’ vision for the outdoor ceiling, they recommended StoVentec Glass as the solution for reflection and flexibility.

The architects originally wanted to install metal panels to create the reflective ceiling. By pivoting instead to StoVentec, they decreased the possibility for oil canning on the project, providing reflections without distortion. The darker glass also offered more reflective properties and hidden fasteners, effectively delivering the architect’s design vision 100 feet in the air from the plaza level.

According to a press release, specifying StoVentec allowed contractors to use one system to build a geometric structure on an exterior ceiling in a place that faces high winds. To maintain the flatness of each surface of the prisms, nearly 3,000 square feet of StoVentec glass panels were attached to a marine-grade plywood substrate. The three diamond-shaped prisms of the bridge are made from 132 uniquely sized glass panels of different sizes and finishes. No two panels are the same.

The glass panel assembly consists of an opaque, glass-faced—a prefabricated composite panel commonly used in a drained and back-ventilated open joint rainscreen system designed to meet project-specific wind loads; a standalone thermally broken facade attachment system of stainless steel and aluminum brackets, aluminum rails and stainless-steel fasteners; and the company’s continuous insulation cladding system for protection against moisture intrusion and energy efficiency.

Design plans started in September 2017, with above-grade construction beginning in October 2018. Phase 1 is scheduled for completion in early 2022, and the project is expected to achieve LEED Silver certification.

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