New York, New York
Architect: Davis Brody Bond Architects and Planners
Glazing Contractor: Champion Metal and Glass Inc.
Product: SteelBuilt Curtainwall Infinity™ SSG; Pilkington Profilit™ channel glass system
NewYork Presbyterian Hospital is home to one of the busiest emergency departments in the U.S., according to the American Hospital Directory. Prior to its renovation, the adult emergency department (ED) saw upwards of 80,000 patients per year, making it the thirteenth busiest ED in the country. The overloaded space was only designed to provide care for 50,000 patients per year. To expand the ED and provide enough room for staff to better serve patients, the hospital board hired Davis Brody Bond Architects and Planners.
One key consideration during the project’s design phase was creating an open, light-filled exterior vestibule for patients and visitors entering the ED. Research shows daylight and access to outside views improve the overall attitude, satisfaction and wellbeing of building occupants. The design team understood the importance of these benefits in a healthcare setting, and desired to incorporate these elements to promote a healing and restorative environment. They found their solution with the SteelBuilt Curtainwall Infinity™ SSG System from Technical Glass Products (TGP).
The design-forward curtain wall system combines the strength of steel with the monolithic aesthetic of structural silicone glazed lites. It is typically three times stronger than traditional aluminum curtain wall systems of the same profile size, allowing for reduced frame dimensions and greater free spans of glazing. In the case of NewYork Presbyterian Hospital, the system uses large 18 foot 6 inch free spans of glazing to provide visitors inside the main entrance with ample daylight.
Structural silicone glazing seals the SteelBuilt Curtainwall Infinity SSG System from the elements, while transferring wind and other live loads to the supporting steel back mullions. This creates a framing system in which the glazed lites are flush with the back framing members. Free of pressure plates and cover caps, the curtain wall’s exterior surface is smooth and uninterrupted, providing a sleek, upscale aesthetic and clear lines of sight into and out of the frequently traversed entrance.
With a porous and open entryway, the design team now faced the challenge of creating a waiting area that made use of the natural light shining through the vestibule, while still providing a private space appropriate for an emergency room. To solve this problem, Davis Brody Bond Architects and Planners turned to TGP’s Pilkington Profilit™ channel glass system.
The linear, “U”-shaped, cast-glass channels are self-supporting and mounted in an extruded metal perimeter frame. They can be installed vertically or horizontally, and can form tight radii. In the reinvented emergency department, the cast-glass channels form a serpentine partition that divides a hallway and waiting room. The multifunctional system obscures vision and dampens sound from visitors passing through the hall, while still allowing light to pass into the waiting room.
Pilkington Profilit™ channel glass is available in channels up to 23 feet long. It is available in a variety of textures and colors with varying degrees of translucency, allowing light through while maintaining privacy. The channel glass system can be used in interior or exterior applications, with Lumira® aerogel to provide energy efficiency and extra sound insulation.