The Summit
photo credit: Glass Flooring Systems Inc.

Visitors can soon take in the views of New York City from what one glass fabrication company believes is “the largest glass floor surface that’s ever been done anywhere.”

The attractions at One Vanderbilt in Midtown Manhattan are made up of three parts; Ascent, which is the glass elevators; Levitation, the look-out boxes peeking out through the sides of the building; and Summit, the observation deck. All are made up of glass.

In about two and a half months, Glass Flooring Systems Inc. (GFS), based in Whippany, N.J., engineered and fabricated the glass that would make up the floor of the Summit observation deck.

“We did roughly 10,000 square feet of mirrored structural glass flooring for that space,” says Wayne Conklin, designer and founder of GFS. One of the challenges to come along with the project, he says, was “just the sheer volume of it.”

“It’s a multi-layer assembly. There’s an aluminum plate supporting the glass panel and the glass panel is a two-part assembly with SentryGlas interlayer… it’s clear glass laminated with SentryGlas to the mirror, [which] is bonded to an aluminum plate. And the aluminum plate is resting upon custom extrusions that we had engineered and produced specifically for this project,” he says. He expects the attraction to see thousands upon thousands of visitors once opened.

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, and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates is the architectural firm behind the project.

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

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