Volume 43, Issue 3 - March 2008

Architects' Guide to Glass


The Miami skyline is about to get some serious sparkle, thanks to a gleaming new condominium tower. Jade Ocean, owned by Fortune Development and designed by Carlos Ott of Uruguay, is set to become the first impact-resistant condo curtainwall in Florida, if not the entire country. With a striking glass skin topped with a stunning blue radius curtainwall crown, Jade Ocean will become a Miami landmark by land and sea.

Although Jade Ocean is loaded with innovative design elements, glass is the real star of the project. In fact, after seeing Ott’s concept, the first step Fortune Development took was to select a glass fabricator and curtainwall engineer—even before choosing a general contractor. Viracon, a glass fabricator, and Permasteelisa-CS Miami, the curtainwall manufacturer, got the nod.

Ott’s design called for a 51-floor tower enveloped in a pure glass skin. Instead of a standard squared crown, Ott envisioned a radius curtainwall that arches back into the building. While most condominium towers consist of window-wall systems, Ott wanted a pure, sparkling glass veneer. The only way to create this aesthetic was with a curtainwall.

Permasteelisa’s Miami team immediately set out to design the custom curtainwall system, which had to meet hurricane code requirements and support durable impact-resistant glass. While they focused on the frame, Viracon tackled the glass.

Gray glass with a low-E coating, Viracon’s VH13-50 product, was chosen for bands, which primarily enclose living units. The gray bands are alternated with a royal blue reflective glass, Viracon’s VT-40 product, to add shimmer and shine. A Saflex PVB interlayer from Solutia Inc. has been incorporated into the glass throughout the curtainwall to meet large and small missile requirements. The protective interlayer also been incorporated into the sliding door systems being created and installed by Continental Glass Systems in Miami. 

For an expanded version of this article, visit www.glassguides.com.

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