Announcing the Winners of the Fourth Annual USGlass Design Awards

From large-scale installations to unique and artistic uses of glass, the winners of the fourth annual USGlass Magazine Design Awards capture many of today’s architectural trends and developments. Two design submissions for one project were the standout this year, so much so that judges chose to recognize it with the “Best Overall Use of Glass Award.” Winners were also selected in the following categories:

• Art Glass;
• Commercial Interiors;
• Facade Retrofit/Renovation;
• High-rise construction (more than 75 feet);
• Low- to mid-rise construction (under 75 feet) and
• Structural Glass (façades).

The competition was open to all members of the architectural glazing industry, including contract glaziers, glass and metal fabricators and suppliers, architects, developers, owners and building envelope/façade consultants. The judges scored the projects based on design innovation; aesthetic achievements; and technical difficulty.

Information included here was provided by the companies in their project submissions and has been edited for editorial and style purposes.

Submission information for the 2023 awards will be available this spring.
For an entry form contact Ellen Rogers at

Thank You to Our Judges

USGlass magazine would like to thank and recognize its esteemed panel of judges: Roman Schieber, associate director with knippers helbig in Stuttgart, Germany; Julia Schimmelpenningh, architectural industry technical manager for the Advanced Material Interlayers business of Eastman Chemical Company; Adam Sokol, principal architect and founder of asap/Adam sokol architecture practice; Brad Thurman, vice president of sales and marketing for the Fabrication Division of General Glass International (GGI); Christoph Timm head of SOM’s Enclosure Group
in the firm’s New York office; Marty Trainor, co-founder and senior vice president of pre-construction for Ventana Design-Build Systems LLC; Josh Wignall, director of commercial marketing at Quaker Windows & Doors; and Greg Wright, vice president of the Nevada operations for Giroux Glass Inc.

Best Overall Glass Use

One Vanderbilt and The Summit
New York, N.Y.
Square Footage: 753, 500 (tower);
27, 980 (The Summit)

When it comes to stand-out use of glass, the Summit at One Vanderbilt is hard to top. Stretching across the floors of the tower’s observation level, the Summit has a fully mirrored interior space that is more than 1,000 feet high. The project, completed in October 2021, is a multi-sensory experience that immerses visitors in the New York skyline. The observatory’s interior design allows visitors to get a sense of their place in the city through the use of art, sound and lighting.

Glass Flooring Systems Inc. engineered and fabricated the glass used in the floor of the Summit observation deck. The company provided about 10,000 square feet of mirrored structural glass flooring. The laminated glass was fabricated with Kuraray’s SentryGlas interlayer. Cristacurva fabricated the glass used in the interior portions of the project and Sedak fabricated the glass for the exterior railings. AGC Interpane supplied the glazing, which incorporates Super Spacer T-Spacer SG from Quanex for the four floors of the observation area.

The glass floor is part of the permanent art installation at Summit, designed by Kenzo Digital, a studio led by an artist of the same name. The glass floor was installed by Mistral Architectural Metal + Glass Inc. The interior design is the work of Snøhetta.

Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates is the architectural firm behind the One Vanderbilt project. Completed in March 2021, the 1,400+ foot skyscraper redefines the Manhattan skyline. Owned and developed by SL Green, the building features four interlocking and tapering planes that spiral toward the sky. With a size of 1.7 million square feet, the building is LEED Platinum and includes 660 corner panels that were all different from each other since the tower tapers from the bottom to the top, resulting in several unique panel modulations. This façade is characterized by two main panels. The vision panels, which are used at the typical office space unit, are equipped with tall glass that reaches almost 22 feet on the executive floors, and a ventilated spandrel panel cladded by terracotta tiles. In addition, a special solution was developed for the mechanical floor units, which are uniquely equipped with three IGU faces, where one is recessed from the others in order to allow for natural ventilation.

Guardian Glass supplied its SunGuard Neutral 50/32 coating on low-iron glass for the building’s facade, which was fabricated by Tvitec and installed by Permasteelisa.

W&W Glass Engineered Solutions was responsible for the podium installation. The project includes Viracon glass on the atrium glass walls, as well as on the podium curtainwalls and storefront; Pilkington laminated glass fins on the atrium; and Tvitec jumbo laminated glass on the tall-span lobby entrance walls.

The structure measures 1,401 feet tall, making it the tallest commercial skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan and among the top 30 tallest building in the world, according to the building’s website.

Art Glass

Ventana De Campeones
Barranquilla, Colombia
Completion Date: October 2021
Square Footage: 15,100
Architect: Miguel Ángel Cure and Pablo Andrés Castellano
Glazing Contractor: ES Windows
Glass Supplier: Vidrio Andino/Saint Gobain; Tecnoglass Group
General Contractor: Aconstruir
Developer/Owner: Fundacie
Suppliers: Kuraray, PVB interlayer; Alutions, aluminum; Dow, sealants

Ventana De Campeones was designed by architects Miguel Ángel Cure and Pablo Andrés Castellano. The structure stands 108 feet (33-meters high), and is covered in glazed panels constructed with 1,400 square meters of laminated glass. The laminated glass was an essential part of this project due to the local environment and a need for the structure to withstand strong winds. Trosifol PVB was used to provide safety, security and durability.

The architects designed the monument with reflective glass, which allows the structure to be perceived in different ways at different times of the day, framing the environment, city, river and clouds. The 12-mm thick laminated glass, with a reflective low-E coating was selected to reflect the lighting system that is made with 87,480 computerized RGB LED lights, which fill the monument with color at night giving a dynamic aesthetic. Fabricated by Tecnoglass, the largest panel on the project spans 9 by 6 feet.

Commercial Interiors (podium, lobby spaces, etc.)

Moynihan Train Hall (Railings, Handrails, Entrance Doors)
New York, N.Y.
Completion Date: January 1, 2021
Square Footage: 6,000
Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM)
Glazing Contractors: Above All Storefronts; Permasteelisa; seele
Glass Suppliers: Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope®
General Contractor: Skanska USA Building Inc.
Developer/Owner: Empire State Development
Suppliers: C.R. Laurence

Glass fixtures in the Moynihan Train Hall are uniquely designed to complement the aesthetic of the space, while delivering the durability needed for high-traffic areas. The glass components function alongside the iconic skylight, with glazing fabricated by BGT Bishoff Glastechnik and installed by seele. The entrance doors support handle hardware on thin insulating glass, creating a “floating on air” appearance. The 1-inch-thick, insulating glass helps create an elegant appearance while exceeding building codes for safety and energy conservation.

Glass railings, handrails and cap rails complement the overall aesthetic of the design. They go beyond unifying the creative vision, lending themselves to the structure’s theme of openness. The selection of glass for these elements accentuates the natural light that comes from the iconic skylight, blending the modern, sleek design with the classic influence of the historic structure. Beyond the railings, the glass doors serve as a gateway for the hundreds of thousands of daily passengers. The balanced doors on the exterior cultivate a feeling of unity in the design, and a welcome openness for the space to serve as a hub for gathering pedestrians. The entrance doors in the interior accentuate the airy ambiance of the space and optimize the use of natural light while maintaining safety standards for public spaces and crowds.

The interior features products supplied by C.R. Laurence including the GRS Taper-Loc Glass Railings (dry glazed); HRS handrails and cap rails; Blumcraft Entice Series Doors with insulating glass; and Blumcraft Balanced Doors with laminated glass.

Façade Renovation/Retrofit

UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse at Duquesne University
Pittsburgh, Pa.
Completion Date: February 2, 2021
Square Footage: 14,733
Architect: DRS Architects Inc.
Glazing Contractors: Gurtner & SonsGlazing
Glass Suppliers: Vitro Architectural Glass (primary); Trulite Glass & Aluminum Solutions – Cheswick (fabricator)
General Contractor: PJ Dick
Developer/Owner: Duquesne University

UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse officially re-opened February 2, 2021, after a 22-month dynamic renovation of an historic athletic facility at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Developers selected glass to create a stunning curved façade that brings new life and more light to the facility. Architects designed a bright, inviting, street-facing façade that provides optimal daylighting for the inside of the facility and also aligns aesthetically with Duquesne University’s recent campus upgrades.

The project features Solarban® R67 (formerly Solarban® 67) Starphire® glass by Vitro Architectural Glass. With a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.30 in a standard 1-inch insulating glass unit, the glass offers solar control performance that helps improve the building’s overall energy efficiency. The glass also has visible light transmittance of 57%, bringing abundant daylight to the building’s interior.

High-Rise Construction (75 feet or more)

105 West First Street
Boston, Mass.
Completion Date: October 29, 2021
Square Footage: 80,000
Architect: Payette
Contract Glazier: Massey’s Plate Glass
Glazing Consultant: Front Inc.
General Contractor: Consigli Construction
Glass Suppliers: Tianjin NorthGlass
(oversized glass); Interpane (unitized
Curtainwall Fabricator: Fabbrica
Developer/Owner: Tishman Speyer
Suppliers: Gastaldello Sistemi (extrusions)

105 West First Street features extruded terracotta cut on angles to create a wavy, intersecting look of the façade moving in and out. The glass and terracotta were fully unitized. The podium level includes oversized glass ranging from 7 feet wide to 27 feet tall. The oversized glass is more than 2 ½ inches thick. Five lites of glass create a clear opening of 27 feet with no intermediate supports. The unitized portion above includes alternating panels of glass and terracotta.

Low- to Mid-Rise Construction (less than 75 feet)

Louis Vuitton’s Flagship Store, Tokyo
Completion Date: March 25, 2021
Square Footage: 20,000
Architect: Jun Aoki and Associations; Peter Marino (interior)
Glazing/Metal Contractor: ShenNanYi
Developer/Owner: Louis Vuitton Group
Glass Supplier: XinBao Glass
Curtainwall Supplier: ShenNanYi
Other Suppliers: Kuraray, PVB

In designing the Tokyo Louis Vuitton flagship store, Japanese architect Jun Aoki was inspired by Claude Monet’s painting of La Grenouillére, a resort on the Seine near Paris. The reflections in the water as painted by Monet appear to transfer seamlessly from the canvas onto the store’s façade. The water wave shape effect was achieved by using an interlayer and a dichroic film with blue, orange and green backgrounds. The glass make-up includes 10-mm low iron glass with 3.04-mm clear SentryGlas and 10-mm low iron glass, as well as a colored coating on surface #2.

Applying extremely thin metal oxide coatings on a variety of base glass helped create the different iridescent colorful effects. The coating is also resistant to chemical assault. It is scratch-resistant and coated in layers that are each less than 100 nanometers thick.

Structural Glass – Facades

Concho Tower III
Midland, Texas
Completion Date: February 1, 2021
Square Footage: 3,600
Architect: RWA Architects
Glazing Systems: Sentech
Glazing Contractor: Duke Glass
General Contractor: W.S. Bellows
Construction Corporation
Glass Supplier: Tianjin NorthGlass

The entrance façade features three structural glass walls using Sentech’s structural glass system. The overall structure spans 140 feet in length by 26 feet in height. Each one of the slim glass panels span 26 feet from floor-to-ceiling, by 2-6 inches in width. In effect, the total square footage of structural glass measures just over 3,600 square feet. Additionally, the elongated design of the structural glass walls utilized specialized aluminum fins that
sit on the interior of the façade. These aluminum fins include 10-9/16-inch deep custom aluminum extrusions, with two coats of Kynar finish. The glass panels are composed of 13/16 inch thick, low-iron, tempered laminated glass with a 5/8 inch PVB gray vertical frit interlayer. According to Sentech, the use of glass panels manufactured at 26-feet tall and less than 3-feet wide is unique, as there are only a handful of projects that use glass of this ratio in the country.

The columns add shading to the building at different times during the day and the slender glass gives the façade a sense of openness.

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