These crafty interventions blend in and stand out thanks to high-performance glass


These crafty interventions blend in and stand out thanks to high-performance glass

Colored and custom printed glass helped My Cry into the World shine (Kevin P. Coughlin/Courtesy State of New York)

Hurricane Maria Memorial, New York, New York

Architect: Segundo Cardona
Antonio Martorell
Pulp Studio
Pulp Studio Custom Printed Glass

My Cry into the World, a new art installation at the Hurricane Maria Memorial in Battery Park City, honors the victims of the Category 5 hurricane that struck Puerto Rico in 2017.

Designed by Pulp Studio, the memorial features monumental glass walls ascending to 16 feet, their curvilinear shape echoing the whipping winds of a tropical storm. The glass was manufactured through Pulp Studio’s D2G process for ceramic application, where high-resolution images are fired onto each pane of glass using brightly colored ceramic inks. The glass is then bent, laminated, and tempered before being installed on-site.

When exposed to sunlight, the glass casts vivid blue, orange, and red beams onto the site. Colors seem to flow from the sculpture-like streams of fire, rain, and tears. Text by Puerto Rican poet Julia de Burgos is superimposed on the imagery, adding to the overall effect: The organic shape of the calligraphy nods to the island’s rolling hills and natural landscape.

Museum of the American Arts & Crafts Movement, St. Petersburg, Florida

Exterior of a museum with a cantilevering corner
(Joe Brennan/© MAACM)

Architect: Alfonso Architects
Contractor: Gilbane Building Company
Fabricators: Cristacurva
Glaziers: AMG and MG McGrath
Manufacturer: Guardian Glass
Products: Guardian SunGuard SNX 51/23 Coated UltraClear Glass

The new Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement mingles textures and hues in a way that draws on the stylings of the eclectic collection it holds. The five-story building, by Alfonso Architects, employs a mixed material palette, including bronze accents and coated glass, to celebrate the historic era in a contemporary way.

Alfonso Architects specified SunGuard SNX 51/23 coated glass, which offers the benefits of solar control. Its high light transmission enhances interior daylighting and reduces air conditioning demands, while also imparting a subtle blue hue to the facade. MG McGrath’s glass and glazing team helped install the glass systems for the museum, including the curtain wall and skylights on the exterior and storefront systems on the interior.

McMaster University, Peter George Centre for Living and Learning Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

A U-shaped complex atop a podium
High-performance glass helped enliven this two-pronged learning center (Courtesy Diamond Schmitt)

Architect: Diamond Schmitt
Engineer: Buro Happold
Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope
Glass (Acid-Etched):
Walker Glass
Glass (Solar Control):
Vitro Architectural Glass
Products: Vitro Solarban 67 Glass, Vitro Solarban 70 Glass

Uniting classrooms, food, and housing under one roof, the 335,000-square-foot Peter George Centre for Living and Learning at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, functions as a microcosm of campus life.

Designed by Diamond Schmitt, the multifaceted student hub includes a 650-seat auditorium, a skylit atrium, and a U-shaped block of daylit residential and study spaces. The architects used high-performance glass from Vitro Architectural Glass throughout the building, including Solarban 70 for the atrium skylight, which offers protection against glare, and Solarban 67 on the facade, which helps to reduce cooling and heating loads. Acid-etched glass from Walker Glass was added to the curtain wall as decoration, bringing motion and variety to the large panes by imposing a subtle pattern on them.

Santa Monica City Hall East, Santa Monica, California

Exterior of a reflective civil services building
(Courtesy Hathaway Dinwiddie)

Architect: Frederick Fisher and Partners
Civil Engineer:
Structural Engineer:
Hathaway Dinwiddie
Curtain Wall:
Walters and Wolf
Facade Engineer:
Buro Happold
Viracon VNE-53 Triple-Coated Performance Glass

Designed by Frederick Fisher and Partners, the new Santa Monica City Hall East merges multiple civic departments, which for years had been scattered across Los Angeles, into a central location that borders the historic 1939 City Hall. The resulting addition is beautiful, efficient, and functional, as well as discreet enough to not clash with the existing architecture.

Motivated to meet the Living Building Challenge, the highest green-building standard in the country, the design team elected to use high-performance triple-coated glass from Viracon on the facades. The silver-blue glazing has an impressive balance of visible light transmission and solar heat gain coefficient, without sacrificing aesthetics. The glass reflects its richly landscaped surroundings, and a ceramic frit behind the glass lightens the building so that it matches the stucco of City Hall. Operable windows that allow cross ventilation add a dynamic quality to the building design.