Of all the glazing options at a designer’s disposal, acid-etched glass is one that offers both form and function. Because its available in various colors, shapes and sizes, acid-etched glass can meet a variety of aesthetic needs, bringing a decorative and artistic element to both interior and exterior applications. Here’s a look at some projects that recently caught our attention.

Sustainability and Aesthetics

McMaster University, Ontario, Canada

The use of acid-etched glass in the Peter George Centre for Living and Learning (PG-CLL) at McMaster University’s Hamilton Campus in Ontario, Canada, helped architects at Diamond Schmitt meet a number of goals to achieve the desired aesthetic. Two different Nuance custom acid-etched patterns from Walker Glass Co. fill the interior of PGCLL with daylight. The patterns are etched onto the first surface of the glass and calibrated to look almost transparent from inside the building while appearing opaque from outside. This helps provide a level of privacy for occupants while still offering a view of the campus. The first-surface etched patterns were also crafted with wildlife in mind, as they can also help in deterring bird collisions. On the second surface of the glazing, a low-E Solarban 60 coating from Vitro Architectural Glass reduces the solar heat gain coefficient value, adding to its sustainability properties. This helped the PGCLL earn LEED Silver certification. Diamond Schmitt had been challenged by the project to make a structure that would be multi-functional, livable and energy-efficient. Acid-etched glass helped accomplish this goal.

Getting Artsy

The Momentary, Bentonville, Ark.

The Momentary, located in Bentonville, Ark., is the first building to use Bendheim’s glass rainscreen system as a 6,000-square-foot projection surface, according to the company. The custom-imprinted glass screen features the company’s new LumiFrit first-surface fritted glass, which reflects light. It can also be customized in a range of decorative patterns.

The Momentary is a former factory and an adaptive-reuse project by Wheeler Kearns Architects of Chicago. Among its new architectural features is an 80-foot tall projectable rainscreen, used as a scrim around a new concrete stair and elevator tower.

The LumiFrit glass cladding gives the tower a white, ephemeral aesthetic during the day. At night, the white frit pattern applied to the outermost surface of the glass bounces front-projected light to create an image. The company’s rainscreen incorporates four fritted glass designs, ranging from 50% to 80% opaque. They were designed by Osage graphic artist Addie Roanhorse and were inspired by traditional Native American Osage design motifs, according to the company. Bendheim’s SatinTech etched finish acts as a dispersion filter for LED back-lighting behind the glass.

The system fastens directly to the concrete, eliminating the need for a steel substructure and shadow line.

Sacred Additions

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain

In the late 19th century, construction began on Antoni Gaudí’s iconic cathedral, La Sagrada Familia. The structure is still a work in progress and currently doesn’t have an expected completion date. Included in its everlasting construction: its windows. Acid-etched glass is being installed in the cathedral to provide both security and comfort for visitors.

The simultaneous erection of the basilica’s six central towers is a milestone for its construction, according to Sevasa Technologics, which is fabricating the acid-etched glass. Gaudí projected singular triangular openings to the exterior in these towers to flood the interior with light. He designed them to remain open, but now, for security reasons, they are glazed.

Sevasa presented several LuxPrint transparent, acid-etched glass solutions that would allow light into the space, while still providing views of the outside.

LuxPrint 10 on an 8-mm thick extra-clear base and jumbo size, was chosen for part of the massive panels of stressed stone, which weigh up to 31 tons and span about 16 feet high and wide.

Once the main tower, designed in devotion to Jesus Christ, is finished, it will be the tallest building in Barcelona standing almost 566 feet.

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.