Shaping the  
Future  
A Unique Philadelphia Installation  
Sets the Stage for Future Projects  
b y E l l e n R o g e r s  
hen it comes to shapely ar-  
chitectural glass,perhaps no  
one is more famous than  
W
Apple.From cubes to cylinders,the com-  
pany has used glass as a defining ele-  
ment of its brand identity. So it should  
come as no surprise that the architec-  
tural mastermind behind so many of  
Apple’s iconic structures,Bohlin Cywin-  
ski Jackson (BCJ), is also the firm that  
designed one of Philadelphia’s newest  
gems,which is located at 1430Walnut St.  
As with many other BCJ projects, this  
one also takes an innovative approach  
with architectural glass, bringing a  
unique installation process to the U.S.  
(
Interestingly, it’s also just blocks from  
Philadelphia’s BCJ-designed Apple store  
and shares the same landlord,Midwood  
Investment & Development.)  
Completed in late 2015,the glass box  
is a retail/office building composed of  
glass façades carefully detailed for max-  
imum transparency. Architects envi-  
sioned an ultra-clear glass appearance  
where each face of the building would  
look like a single sheet of glass. In this  
case,the height of the three-story build-  
ing is similar to most six-story build-  
ings, with 22-foot floor-to-floor heights.  
In order to not detract from the clear  
glass appearance, the design team  
wanted to avoid using interior vertical  
framing members. Instead, it opted for  
a unique installation technique—one  
that had never been used before in the  
U.S. Collaboration was a must.  
continued on page 64  
62  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | May 2016  
www.usglassmag.com  
See It With Your Own Eyes  
From top left, Installation took place during the  
014-2015 winter. Eureka employed dual foremen  
2
If you’ll be in Philadelphia for this month’s AIA  
Show, why not take a look at the project yourself?  
to help keep the schedule on track. Below left,  
Andrew Moroz and Frank Grauman of BCJ worked  
closely with Terry Webb of Eureka to ensure a  
successful project. Above, the finished project, a  
unique, fully truss-supported unitized glass  
curtainwall, has been well-received in Philadelphia.  
1430 Walnut St. is about a half-mile walk from  
the Pennsylvania Convention Center.  
www.usglassmag.com  
May 2016 | USGlass, Metal & Glazing  
63  
Sconhtinaupedifrnomgpatghe 6e3 Future  
DrFaewwicnogmmoenrcEiaxl pbeuirlideinngcespaces  
have been constructed in downtown  
Philadelphia over the past several  
decades. This provided Midwood with  
an interesting opportunity to create a  
significant building in the city’s upscale  
retail area, according to Frank Grau-  
man, BCJ principal,who adds that Mid-  
wood is a developer that’s focused on  
holding its buildings for a long time.  
“We all know glass is transparent and  
people love transparency, but we’re in-  
creasingly interested in the phenomenon  
that glass is also reflective. Before all the  
high-performance coatings were devel-  
oped, glass was more transparent,” says  
Grauman.“Coated glass is also more re-  
flective, and there can be as much oppor-  
tunity in reflection as in transparency.”  
He continues, “There are many rea- The project features unitized glass panels measuring 22-feet-9-inches by  
sons to love glass,but you have to be cau- 7-feet-6-inches, the largest in Philadelphia, which were installed and butt-  
tious of glare and overheating,” he says, glazed on the exterior to meet design intent.  
explaining that site orientation always  
needs to be considered.For this particu- possibility with glass is the fact that was brought up during weekly meet-  
lar project, they had only northern and building codes no longer require cap- ings by APG International director of  
western exposures.“The most important turing two of the four sides of a glass engineering, Joern Philippi.”  
elevation faces north where there is no lite.“So you can do a 100-percent struc-  
direct sunlight, and a very tall building tural glass building with a single, pure path of lateral loads with the truss sys-  
protects the long western face.” flat plane and an elegant grid of thin tem would be converted to a vertical  
He continues,“There was a huge op- sealant joints.” load parallel to the façade and therefore  
portunity on the north because it looks The team, however, had to create a the façade stabilizes itself by its own  
directly onto Walnut Street’s magnifi- way to best achieve the desired aes- dead weight.”  
He adds, “Joern explained the load  
cent old limestone buildings.Their his- thetic. One of the challenges was find-  
Webb says his company collaborated  
toric light-colored façades face south ing an economical way to build a with APG on detailing to achieve the  
and are deeply modeled,offering a con- self-supporting, floor-to-floor curtain- design intent of a consistent face of  
stant changing play of imagery. Our wall system.  
north-facing glass’reflectivity leverages Philadelphia-based Eureka Metal &  
glass within budget.  
The project features unitized glass  
this extraordinary streetscape … and Glass Services Inc. was awarded the panels measuring 22 feet, 9 inches by 7  
also enjoys transparency without the glazing contract. The company worked feet 6-inches (the largest in Philadelphia),  
burden of solar heat gain and glare.”  
Grauman says Midwood is also the Glassboro,N.J.,which provided the cur- the exterior.A shallow 4-inch mullion re-  
landlord for Apple’s store just up the tainwall fabrication. quired intricate steel to support such  
street. They first contacted Bohlin Cy- According to Terry Webb, president of large glass panels. Elevation tolerations  
winski Jackson after seeing what they Eureka,BCJ and Midwood requested that were only one-eighth of an inch.  
had done at that property.“At first,Mid- the façade appear transparent and light. Dirk Schulte,vice president of business  
wood asked us to look into large struc- “Conventional methods could not development,sales and engineering with  
with APG International located in which were installed and butt-glazed on  
tural glass panels,and we followed that provide the‘light’ appearance given the APG, explained that his company devel-  
direction until realizing that the neces- 22-foot spans between floors,” says oped a custom,unitized curtainwall sys-  
sary 20-foot panels were not available Webb. “Minimal framing size with tem with glass from Tecnoglass.“Design,  
on the given schedule and budget,”says structural glazing provided the light ap- engineering, fabrication and assembly  
Grauman.“So the question was‘how do pearance, but was structurally insuffi- was processed in-house before Eureka  
we get an equivalent result with simpler cient, even if loaded with as much steel installed the wall on the site,” he says.  
materials and locally sourced skills?’” that would fit within the verticals. The  
Grauman says one interesting new idea of fully truss supported framing  
continued on page 66  
6
4
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | May 2016  
www.usglassmag.com  
Sconhtinaupedifrnomgpatghe 6e4 Future  
The uniqueness of this system is the are more and more enthusiastic about  
oversized three-dimensional curtainwall this approach.  
units incorporating two sides and a  
“Some clients can be risk adverse,  
and prefer that an architect design with  
“Our relationship with the Clemens time-tested systems.Here,it was essen-  
canopy.Another special feature is a verti- Construction Company was critical.In- tial that Midwood be excited about how  
cal truss assembly consisting of filigree novation takes a high level of trust, so design could maximize their invest-  
stainless-steel rods that stabilize each the whole team can go at it together. ment’s potential,making a building that  
vertical aluminum mullion in order to The trend to bring the contract glazier would be worth owning in the long run.  
minimize their depths, transferring the in early is strong in this industry, and They had the vision and emotional de-  
façade framing into a real architectural it’s almost becoming a standard oper- sire to support innovation. It’s wonder-  
specialty.”  
Webb adds, “The integration of the where we were headed, they brought in drive. Midwood saw the urban and  
heavy non-insulated steel beam as an in- Eureka Metal & Glass very early.” commercial value that innovation could  
sulated faux beam into the façade element He continues, “We worked with Eu- bring.They very much care about those  
is another innovative feature that im- reka from the beginning,and I would say issues.”  
ating approach. So, when Clemens saw ful to have a client who has that kind of  
proves the overall U-value of the façade the glass design’s success is as much  
Grauman says Midwood was very in-  
significantly compared to the conven- theirs as is it ours.We would do a draw- terested in participating and under-  
tional steel device originally proposed.”  
ing, and show it to them right away. standing how 1430 Walnut St.would be  
Speaking of the design, he adds that They’d think about it and come back and constructed.  
the corners are mullion-less, which suggest a better way to do something …  
“We built wooden prototype models  
adds transparency and eliminates a and so on.We continued that in a seam- of all the joints in that system so they  
weak point for the U-value.  
less way.Once we all understood the po- could see exactly what we were doing,”  
the corners not as structural members maximize the size of the panel, the next  
This was achieved by considering tential of structural glazing and how to says Grauman.  
Since its completion, 1430 Walnut St.  
loaded with features like glass or faux question was how to erect it swiftly,eco- has made quite an impression on  
beams, but as a full composite unit nomically and get all the careful work- Philadelphians—despite concerns of  
where every part contributes to the sta- manship right. The answer was an putting new construction in such a his-  
bility of the whole component.”  
exceptionally large structurally glazed torical area.  
panel.”Panels left the plant as completely “The building’s made quite a splash  
ItWTahikleeAsPGMfaborriceatetdhtahenunOitnizeed cur- glazed structural units, so the field op- in Philadelphia,” says Grauman. “One  
eration consisted of simply hanging might have thought that people would  
tainwall, Eureka fabricated the stick cur- them on the building.  
tainwall, entrances and canopy support Grauman says collaboration like this in such an historic environment,but the  
system. Framing for the recessed, stick- is important for a project’s success. public has embraced what we’ve done.  
builtcurtainwallwassuppliedbyKawneer, “Industry collaboration is critical. If People are really excited about it, and  
and Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope® pro- not, you’re leaving a lot of knowledge on that makes it all worthwhile.”  
vided the all-glass entry systems. the table; it’s crazy not to engage the peo- Webb adds,“The visual effect is trans-  
be hesitant about such a modern design  
Speaking of the canopy, Webb adds, ple who know how to make ideas work. parency, slenderness and a light appear-  
The canopy is not just cladded struc- Collaboration also mitigates risk,” he ance that has astonished folks who have  
tural members. Rather, the canopy ex- says. “Eureka knew best how far they asked‘how is this design possible?’.”  
ternal skin is used as a monocoque,and could push the technology while reliably City residents aren’t the only ones  
therefore is nearly self-supporting.The meeting the client’s expectations. Inno- who’ve been impressed. The project is  
steel members are used as stiffeners vation requires super-smart people also an award winner. The General  
only so that the result is an amazingly working together—whether the issue is Building Contractors Association pre-  
slender look with greater stability than how to fit a new building into an old city, sented it with a 2015 Construction Ex-  
constructing in a conventional manner.” or how ultra-slick panels and trusses can cellence Award for Best Commercial  
(
type of boat, aircraft, or rocket con- ticularly into this kind of early col-  
struction in which the shell carries laboration; and it’s very fertile  
Note: Webb explains a monocoque is a snap together.The glass industry is par- Project Over $10 Million. s  
most of the stresses.)  
In order to ensure a successful proj-  
ect, it was necessary for the project project like this started isn’t al-  
team, and BCJ and Eureka in particu- ways easy. Grauman says a major  
lar, to work closely. Grauman says col- project challenge for architects  
laboration has become a positive looking to innovate usually has to  
theme in construction, and architects do with the client.  
ground for innovation.”  
Installation aside, getting a  
E l l e n R o g e r s is the  
editor of USGlass magazine.  
Follow her on Twitter  
@
USGlass and like USGlass  
on Facebook to receive  
updates.  
66  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | May 2016  
www.usglassmag.com