Spotlight on Acid-Etched Glass

Acid-etched glass may not be new to the architectural glazing industry, but architects and fabricators continue to find new and unique ways of using it. From interior wall panels, glass floors and stair treads to exterior facades, acid-etched glass can be used not only for aesthetics, but also combined with other features and benefits. Here are a few projects worthy of note.

Modern Renovation

Harborside 3 is part of the Harborside Financial Plaza in Jersey City, N.J., and a $75 million renovation of the Mack-Cali Realty Corp. flagship property that offers a waterfront view of the Hudson River and New York City. Gensler was selected to modernize this Class A office building. The existing design had large open spaces that needed to be defined and repurposed to add functional spaces with privacy, but without compromising the natural flow of daylighting. The glazing contractor, Pure Glass LLC, installed the multiple floor-to-ceiling glass walls on the interior and the unique overhead glazing and wall-cladding design used in the elevator banks. GGI, based in Secaucus, N.J., fabricated the glass panels utilizing 3/8-inch low-iron glass, .060 PVB, and 3/8-inch low-iron glass with Alice direct-to-glass custom printed design on the third surface. Alice was also used to create the fade for the upper and lower sections of each glass panel—adding an element of privacy required in designated areas.

Pure Glass worked closely with owner/developer Mack-Cali, recommending a custom triple-glazed installation to achieve the desired aesthetic and to accommodate the custom lighting. The elevator bank walls consist of three unique glass types fabricated by GGI with approximately 1½ -inch spacing between each lite to create visual depth. The wall cladding configuration consists of two lites of tempered, low-iron glass each with a unique Alice design, and a posterior lite of satin-etched low-iron mirror. The ½-inch laminated glass for the overhead glazing is configured with ¼-inch low-iron with an Alice design on the first and third surfaces, laminated with .060 PVB and custom backpainting on the fourth surface to complement the glass walls in the elevator banks.

Artistic Expression

Low-iron, acid-washed glass supplied by Pulp Studio was used as the backdrop for an artistic display located on the first floor of the University of Washington Life Sciences Building in Seattle. The wall spans just over 90 feet long and almost 13 feet tall.

The acid-washed, low-iron glass is coated with Pulp Studio’s Pintura White. The black lines were printed using digital ceramic frit prior to Pintura coating. The composition of the artwork, created by local Seattle artist Claude Zervas, was steel and vitreous enamel, and was hung over the glass.

Working with Perkins+Will to create this installation from the local artist, Pulp was brought on to create the backdrop for the artwork. The company took the acid-washed glass, which was printed with the artist’s files using digital ceramic frit, and then coated it with Pintura water-based coating. All the polishing was done in house. The steel was attached in the field, but Pulp fabricated the holes to mount the artwork. The glass was installed by Mission Glass of Tumwater, Wash.

Nice as Ice

With the design objective to specify an envelope material that would bring to mind an ice surface, the City of Montreal in collaboration with architectural firm Riopel + Associées Architectes, selected an acid-etched glass for a utility building adjacent to the Maurice Richard Arena, located at the Olympic Park in Montreal, Canada.

The project features Walker Textures 6-mm clear glass Satinlite on the first surface with 6-mm grey glass Pilkington Mirropane on the third surface and backpainted in grey on the fourth surface. According to information from Walker Glass, while acid-etched mirrors are typically designed for interior applications, architects chose to work with glass fabricator Multiver to develop a glass assembly that would reproduce the light reflection and depth illusion of its acid-etched mirrors.

The arena is named for National Hockey League legend Maurice “Rocket” Richard, who spent 18 years with the Montreal Canadiens and won eight Stanley Cup Championships, among other accolades.

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