2000 Avenue of the Stars

Large structural glass wall systems present an engineering challenge on any project. Add in the strict seismic building codes of California, and many engineers would consider the wall systems near impossible, at least at a reasonable cost.

The two 280-foot long structural glass wall systems in the 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Century City building in Los Angeles will change that mentality, says Jeff Haber, managing partner for W&W Glass Systems Inc. in Nanuet, N.Y.

“This project shows [architects and engineers] that with proper planning and coordination, you can achieve extremely large spans of glass in high seismic areas for minimal additional cost,” Haber says. “This is the first project that I know of to use very large lites [on a structural system] in a seismic area.”

The glass walls, one 36 feet tall and the other 26 feet tall, line the building’s two lobbies. W&W Glass engineered and fabricated the system that consisted of about 16,250 square feet of a single-glazed Pilkington Planar structural glass system using heat soaked and tempered Pilkington Optifloat glass, 1⁄2 inch thick for face glass, and 3⁄4 inch thick for fins.
The wall features stainless steel hardware that accommodates lateral drift of 1⁄4 inch per square foot, or 10 inches for the whole wall. Highly stressed tempered glass was used because it can handle greater pressures, Haber says.

“We really found a way to maximize the use of glass to make the wall as transparent as possible,” Haber says. “The owner liked it so much, they’re putting the same system on two adjacent towers, another 20,000 square feet for the Century Plaza Towers.”

Benson Industries of Carson, Calif., did the installation. Specialty Glass Systems of LaQuinta, Calif., served as the representative for W&W Glass and Pilkington Planar. Pilkington of the United Kingdom was the glass manufacturer.

Gensler of Santa Monica, Calif., was the architect, and Hathaway Dinwiddie of Los Angeles, the general contractor.

The project was completed in spring 2006.