Spotlight on Glass and Metal Railings

Glass and metal railings feature hundreds of elements that help create a polished product. These elements can bring a lot of life to a project while meeting safety and performance features. Here’s a look at a few stand-out projects.

The Aurora Sculpture
Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport

The Aurora, a 29-foot-high glass and metal sculpture designed by Jen Lewin, sits suspended through an oval opening between two floors at Terminal 1 in Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport. To protect both onlookers and the sculpture itself, Sightline Commercial Solutions (formerly Trex Commercial) fabricated a custom-designed elliptical perimeter railing system featuring 90 linear feet of vertically positioned glass fin railing panels and a stainless-steel handrail around the second-story overlook. Using 3D laser scanning and sheet metal laser cutting, Sightline Commercial, working alongside Alliance and Morcon Construction, verified precise dimensions and ensured secure attachment of the clear glass fins and knife plates.

The Aurora features an aerial wave of more than 20,000 aluminum rings and 2,000 hand-blown glass bulbs fitted with color-changing LEDs. The sculpture uses current live weather data to present changing light displays, reflecting Minnesota’s seasonal shifts. The lighting shifts from blues and whites in winter to greens and yellows in spring and oranges and reds in fall. Beneath the installation is an interactive cluster of reflective glass platforms that take the shape of local public lakes.

The White House

Located in Miami, the White House project features a specially designed and crafted circular staircase that serves as the crowning jewel of the privately-owned waterfront property. Aside from the staircase stringers and handrail, glass was the predominant material used for this project. This includes multi-laminated stair treads, providing an impressive display of the durability and versatility of glass, as well as light to fill the home.
The staircase was a combined effort of installers at Bella Stairs LLC and interior designer Nathalie Ohayon from Renovaid Interiors, who designed the staircase layout. Glasshape provided digital field measuring services and 3D laser scanning of the staircase during construction. The company then used the data to 3D model the structure and design the TemperShield 9/16-inch low iron, laminated bent glass.

Choctaw Casino
Durant, Okla.

The Choctaw Casino in Durant, Okla., is the eighth addition to the tribe’s casino operations. The project was a collaborative effort among Viva Railings, Manhattan Construction, JCJ Architecture and contract glazier Tepco Glass. The casino features nearly 4,257 feet of the iRAIL LED lighting system, providing a futuristic luminescence to the curving lines of the casino. The iRAIL LED system, a modified version of the iRAIL line, was slotted to accommodate a high-performance LED outfit while resulting in minimal emissions.

The outdoor balconies of the casino are outfitted with a Cube Outdoor Balcony Railing System, continuing the contemporary flow of the rest of the casino. Additionally, the balconies feature custom glass dividers created through ceramic frit glass and clear glass amalgam, resulting in a unique pattern that is distinctive yet subtle.

Pendry West Hollywood

Located along the famed Sunset Strip in West Hollywood are Pendry West Hollywood and the Pendry Residences by Montage Hotels & Resorts. The 300,000-square-foot development encompasses an entire city block. The Pendry West Hollywood’s hilltop perch creates expansive views of one of the area’s most famous districts.

With the project’s impressive location, taking advantage of surrounding views was a significant component of the project’s design. C.R. Laurence (CRL) collaborated with EYRC Architects and contract glazier Kovach to bring this vision to life. EYRC Architects worked to maximize exposure to the iconic Los Angeles views in all upper-level exterior spaces. To minimize visual barriers and keep as much of the view open as possible, architects specified the CRL GRS glass railing system. The system was specified with cap rails and laminated glass for more safety and structural performance. The railing system serves as a safety barrier that improves the experience while maintaining unbroken sightlines, allowing the surroundings to be a focal point.

Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall
New York

The new Lincoln Center David Geffen Hall was designed by Diamond Schmitt and Tod Williams/Billie Tsien Architects. The center was built with a focus on improved and impressive acoustics within the main theater, providing a world-class experience for the New York Philharmonic.

Pulp Studio created more than 8,700 square feet of flat and bent laminated glass railings and guardrails, specifically chemically strengthened for the job’s tight 8-inch radii. Lafayette Metal & Glass Company was the contract glazier. For post-polish on the glass edgework, Pulp Studio used its Precision Edge technology, creating a refined look. A guardrail featuring specially etched low-iron laminated glass, finished with a digital design for privacy and intimacy, was also installed.

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