Channel glass provides aesthetics, performance at Seattle building



Photos by Technical Glass Products.

"We wanted to create a building that would visually interact with the street activity. But in order for the space to be livable, we needed to balance transparency with privacy. We needed a material that would allow us to let in as much light as possible during the day and act as a lantern at night." — Jim Graham, principal, Graham Baba Architects.

The basics: In Seattle's Fremont neighborhood, a collage of vertically oriented, transparent channel glass strips run up the street façade of a new, three-story building. The structure is Building 115, a mixed-use residential building that extends up, rather than out, in order to meet zoning requirements. Concrete masonry form the sides of the building, while the bay — a linear sequence of channel glass units on the front — extend upward. The top portion of the bay conceals a deck and residential unit from the busy street. On the interior, the channel glass allows diffused daylight to reach the bottom two floors — a bicycle shop and workspace — and at night, the bay transforms into a backlit façade.

The players: Architect, Graham Baba Architects, Seattle; developer/owner, D. Boone Construction LLC, Seattle; channel glass supplier, Technical Glass Products, Snoqualmie, Wash.; Nanogel supplier, Cabot Corp., Boston.

The glass and systems: Pilkington Profilit channel glass, mounted in an extruded metal perimeter frame. The framing holds the vertical mullions in place on cantilevered floor slabs to add dimension to the uniform surface, according to a TGP release. The architects incorporated Nanogel aerogel in the enclosed space between the channels for energy and acoustical performance.