Volume 29, Issue 1 - Spring 2015


A Step Up

Queens Museum Staircase, Walkway Has Class with Glass

Visibility was at a premium when the Queens Museum revamped and expanded its exhibition space. So what better way to promote visibility than with glass?

The Queens, N.Y., museum’s recently completed renovations include a new structure of glass balustrades, stairs, landings and bridges that connects the upper and lower levels.

“The staircase has been designed as a rigorously detailed structure whose form integrates into the existing geometry of the panorama and incorporates a new glass elevator,” according to Grimshaw Architects, which designed the project. “The newly installed glass bridge is located directly over the entrance lobby and is designed for maximum visibility.”

And with the visibility comes light.  

Designed by Grimshaw Architects,
the recently completed glass walkway, balustrade
and stairs project at the Queens Museum in New York
features Walker Glass’ acid-etched “Traction” texture.

“The project was quite unique in that the glass staircase allowed natural light to flow inside the museum and through a hanging glass lantern, diffusing natural daylight to the central large works gallery and surrounding temporary exhibition spaces,” says Marc Deschamps, business development manager at Walker Glass. “It also married well with the existing geometry of the panorama.”

Architectural Glass North America (AGNORA) fabricated the low-iron glass balustrade. For the stairs, walkway and landing areas, Walker Glass supplied Agnora with the 12-millimeter tempered and laminated PPG Starphire glass. Walker acid-etched its anti-slip, 406 “Traction” texture on the glass.

“For interior applications, pattern ceramic traction frit is also popular,” says Kevin Nash of AGNORA. “However, we’ve found that the acid-etch traction glass provides very high wear factor long-term.”

Nash adds that the 2-inch-thick, 4-ply annealed laminate treads were post-laminate polished for the best possible edge-aligned polish and aesthetics, “combined with SentryGlas interlayers for strength and safety.”

Another interesting aspect about the project was that the installed staircase steel was digitally measured after the supporting steel was installed. “This greatly increased the accuracy between the fabricated glass and the space allowed for it,” says Nash.

AGNORA fabricated the glass for the project, which utilized digital measuring after the supporting steel was installed.


Architects' Guide to Glass & Metal

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