Spotlight on Interior Glass Installations

When architects and designers want to make a statement with their interior projects, glass is often a prominent ingredient—and for plenty of good reasons. Glass not only creates a bright, open environment, it can also be used for decorative aesthetics, transparency and safety. Here’s a look at a few recent projects where interior glass is the true standout.

High Fashion

The interior glazing featured in the Nordstrom store on 57th Street in New York, completed in 2019, is just as fashionable as the merchandise itself. The project was designed by James Carpenter Design and installed by Mistral Architectural Metal + Glass based in Woodside, N.Y. Pulp studio fabricated 4,000 square feet of laminated glass and applied the Transparent Silicone Structural Adhesive (TSSA) fitting from Dow—this is the element that connects to the glass itself. Mistral connected the actual handrail tubing to the TSSA fittings on site.

According to Bernard Lax, CEO of Pulp Studio, applying stainless steel fittings onto handrails with TSSA is more of an art form than a science. Unlike traditional structural glazing hardware applications, with TSSA holes are not drilled into the glass.

“The TSSA adheres the fitting to the face of the glass and is applied as part of the laminating process. The precision of placement is critical for the handrail itself to make the connections to these fittings and maintaining the correct position is a very difficult task,” he says. “It’s one of those things that doesn’t look like much when it is finished, but excruciating to achieve.”

Shower Enclosure Spotlight

Granite State Glass installed this frameless enclosure that includes a distinctive wood bench that extends on both sides of the glass. This unique shower design is part of a Wood & Clay Fine Homes renovation, and includes Guardian ShowerGuard coating, a permanent protective coating applied to the glass during manufacturing. The coating is designed to permanently seal the surface of the glass for lasting aesthetics and minimal maintenance. Using large-area magnetron sputter coating technology, an invisible protective coating is fused to the surface, filling the peaks and valleys that occur naturally in glass and creating a smooth surface that’s highly resilient to the dirt, soap and hard water buildup that dulls and etches ordinary glass, according to the company.

Not Your Typical Cup of Joe

The new Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Chicago, which opened in November 2019, has been called the world’s largest Starbucks. It’s not just a place for coffee and conversation. It also features a unique wall mural, which everyone can enjoy thanks to fire-rated glass.

The location features a 4-story mural by local artist Eulojio Ortega that’s located in an exit stairwell. While stairwells are traditionally enclosed in opaque walls, leaving them dark, isolated, and rarely utilized unless of an emergency, this one is different. Fire-rated glass was used to allow the mural to be visible through multiple floors, encourage stair usage and meet fire-rated code requirements. Architects Perkins + Will redesigned the 2-hour stairwell using SAFTI FIRST’s SuperLite II-XLB 120 with butt-glazing capabilities to eliminate the need for obstructive vertical mullions and to provide maximum transparency. SG Metal & Glass in Bridgeview, Ill., was the glazing contractor. Since standard glass typically has a slight blue-green tint due to the iron induced from the glass manufacturing process, low-iron Starphire Ultra-Clear glass was used for its clarity, color neutrality and high visible light transmission.

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