Volume 26, Issue 6 - November/December 2012

Printed Interlayers Help Transform Glass into Art
A hospital can be a frightening place—especially for children. To ease the fears that children often associate with a hospital stay, many facilities are designed and built specifically for them. Children’s hospitals are often constructed with colorful, playful images and décor. Take a walk through the halls of the Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital and you will see a colorful, glass wall detailed with images of butterflies in flight.

The glass lites are approximately 42- by 86 inches and were installed by DM Products of Bethel Park, Pa. “We did all of the exterior framing and glazing as well as all of the interior glazing,” says Mike Stroupe, vice president of operations at DM Products. “We were there for about 13 months.”

Goldray Industries in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, fabricated the decorative glass with its Technographic Interlayer, a high resolution printed polyester interlayer laminated between the glass. Fabrication took about three weeks before it was ready for installation.

Stroupe adds, “I’d probably have to say the most challenging aspect of the entire project was coordinating all of the colors to the locations.”

The project was designed by Pittsburgh-based Astorino Architects, and, according to architects, the concept for the whole hospital was one of transformation; the butterfly motif was used to portray that concept, as they actually morph from one end of the wall to the other. This helped create a perception for patients of being out of control to becoming in control.

As with any decorative project, creating the butterfly wall presented its own unique challenges. “Taking the vision of a talented designer and turning that vision into a piece of glass art that works both aesthetically and structurally was a challenge,” says Cathie Saroka, marketing director, Goldray. AGG

Architects' Guide to Glass & Metal
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