Volume 19,  Issue 1                                                   Spring 2005

a Glass concerto:
The Music Center at Strathmore
by Ellen Giard Chilcoat

The recently constructed Music Center at Strathmore, located in Montgomery County, Md., may very well be considered a masterpiece in glass. The building, which stands 104 feet tall and is 190,000-square feet, is sheathed in glass.

Viracon of Owatonna, Minn., was the glass supplier. The company provided an insulating Solarscreen™ low-E (VE-55) coating on clear glass. In some areas, a silkscreened line pattern was used in combination with the insulating low-E. 

“These glass products contributed to the thermal performance requirements of the project in reducing solar heat gain into the building, as well as offering aesthetic appeal,” said Sara Theis, Viracon marketing specialist. 

PCC Construction served as the project’s glazing contractor.

Glass was a key design element in the new Music Center at Strathmore. Much of the glass used in the structure has a ceramic frit to reduce heat gain from the western sun. 

The concert hall’s west elevation has three layered facades with glass walls that “highlight the many nighttime activities of the building in brilliant light.” 

 The north lobby is a 64-foot high space with a glass-canted wall.

The use of glass walls not only links the Strathmore to the surrounding landscape, but also brings the outside into the building.

Visitors can walk along a steel and glass walkway (bottom right) to reach various areas of the concert hall. 

 In addition to the auditorium, the Strathmore also features an education center and additional rehearsal spaces.

Architect's Guide to Glass & Metal
© Copyright Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.