The View From Within: Spotlight on Impressive Interior Glass Applications

Using glass and glazing products in interior applications provides many opportunities. Not only does it create a unique aesthetic that can enhance the space, it can also help stream natural light deep into a space for daylighting purposes. Architects increasingly turn to glass products for their interior projects. These designs include large-scale art glass installations, railings, walls and partitions and more. Here’s a look at a few recent attention-grabbing installations.

The Pence Union Building, designed by the Perkins+Will’s Seattle team, serves as Eastern Washington University’s (EWU) community gathering place. Completed in August 2018, the remodel on the campus in Cheney, Wash., represents a decades-long dream and a multi-year project. EWU Dean of Students Amy Johnson referred to the student union building as the campus’ living room, where students can check out laptops and video game
consoles, visit the new multicultural center, bookstore, career center, and eat at one of the many cafés and kiosks. The building is a light and open structure with an interior and exterior constructed of wood and glass. The two-story feature wall, designed in the school colors, is a topographical map of the surrounding Palouse hills, where the channeled scablands were created by flooding from the glacial Lake Missoula.

The design incorporates a combination of glass products supplied and fabricated by Pulp Studio. These include custom digital ceramic frit and the company’s Pintura water-based backcoated glass on its Light Glass Technology, which is a 1/2-inch honeycomb substrate. In addition, the stair wall features the company’s white Pintura glass to create a unique
visual aesthetic, as well as a means of egress.

C&S Glass Co., located in Post Falls, Idaho, was the contract glazier.

Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper Quad

Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh recently opened its largest building on campus, the David A. Tepper Quadrangle. Designed by Moore Ruble Yudell Architects & Planners, the five-story, 315,000-square-foot “Tepper Quad” is home to the Tepper School of Business and intersects with the other six Carnegie Mellon colleges and schools. The vast lobby and dining areas allow students and faculty to easily spot one another, promoting an enhanced ecosystem of cross-campus collaboration. Open from floor to ceiling, the design also provides an abundance of natural light that floods the interior, helping to decrease stress levels and enhance helping to decrease stress levels and enhance overall well-being.

More than 1,800 linear feet of Trex Commercial Products’ Track Rail seamlessly adds safety to the high-traffic building. The frameless panels of ½-inch clear glass allow for unobstructed views on the building’s stairs and curved overlooks. In addition, ¾-inch clear glass lines the angular welcome staircase, which is tucked to the side, allowing for a more spacious lobby and social areas. Segmented overlook railings are fastened mechanically to structural steel finished with aluminum cover plates, while custom-designed rolled and raked stainless steel cladding lines the three curved staircases.

Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope® was the glass fabricator and Specified Systems was the contract glazier.

Utah State University, College of Life Sciences

The Utah State University and the Utah Division of Arts & Museums chose glass to represent life-sustaining water in its 23-foot-high art sculpture titled “Surface Tension,” located in the lobby of its College of Life Sciences building. Completed in December 2018, the installation features 534 unique glass “drops” that cling to a 17-foot-wide steel structure that dominates the interior landscape. The drops range from 12 to 42 inches and were individually cast and affixed to laminated glass bases, illuminated from the sides by an internal LED light. Dependable Glass Works of Covington, La., was part of a team of experts that worked on the challenging project.

According to Amy Landesberg of project design firm Amy Landesberg Art & Design Inc., cast glass was used to “evoke the materiality of water water, because there is no biological system without it, and it is therefore crucial to the study of life sciences.”

The glass mimics water in three different ways:

Structure: The water drop sizes and shapes were analyzed and used as the basis for casting;

Effect: Glass chill marks and light refraction create watery light; and

Image: Images of life developed with the help of the college faculty can be discerned through careful examination of some of the drops.

Each of the 534 glass drops is unique and their design required a three-step process involving the entire project team. The first step took place at Blenko Glass in Milton, W. Va., where the glass drops were cast in eight custom-designed graphite molds.

The next step involved creating a laminated glass substrate that would prevent glass breakage and securely mount the glass to backing steel. FGD Solutions fabricated a laminated layer of safety glass, out to match, which was adhered to each cast drop. This translucent layer also diffuses the back-lighting. Next, a specially-shaped piece of laminated glass was cut and joined to the simulated drops. The laminated glass drop shapes were cut on a water-jet cutting table at Dependable Glass Works. Each laminated drop was then laminated to each cast drop.

In addition, the art wall installation is lit internally with two 19-foot-long LED lighting fixtures, one on each side, which can be dimmed as desired. This electrical work was designed and specified by Spectrum Engineers.

Georgia-Pacific Center

Georgia-Pacific (G-P) Center, home of the c0mpany’s headquarters in Atlanta, is undergoing a major transformation. The offices have not received significant improvement investments since the company moved in 1982. This project, designed by Hendrick and scheduled for completion later this year. completely renovated the company‘s occupied floors, and includes help from Guardian InGlass products.

Existing walls and furniture are being replaced with various types of open workspaces, while still providing space for quiet, confidential work and conversations. Incorporating glass into the design allows light to move deep into each floor.

Guardian clear laminated glass is being used to replace walled-off offices and create individual workspaces designed by Teknion. The laminated glass also provides sound control. In addition, workstations use the company’s SatinDeco acid-etched glass on ExtraClear glass, which offers high light transmission, uniform light diffusion and color neutrality. Independent Guardian Select fabricator Oldcastle Building Envelope® fabricated the acid-etched glass, which unlike other frosted glass treatments and aftermarket films that can peel and scratch over time, offers a durable, fingerprint-resistant surface. The glass was installed by TBI Services.

Additionally, whiteboards provided by Clarus and glass conference tables fabricated by GLASSource for Haworth are made from Guardian UltraClear low-iron glass.

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