Glass “ark” highlights Atlanta aquarium

December 5, 2006

“We used a combination of clear and some frosted [glass], because we wanted both plenty of views and light emitting from the inside. The combination helps create the tones and textures we wanted with it.”—Gary Fowler, principal, Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates

The basics: The $290 million, 500,000-square-foot Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta opened in November 2005, complete with a glazed hull-shaped structure, often described as “the ark,” serving as the aquarium's recognizable front door.
The players: Architect, Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates, Atlanta; general contractor, Brasfield & Gorrie, Kennesaw, Ga., glazing contractor, Gardner Glass & Glazing of Acworth, Ga.; façade glass supplier, Viracon, Owatonna, Minn.; skylight glass supplier, PPG Industries, Pittsburgh.
The glass: 10,200 square feet of glass in the exterior façades, featuring VE 1-2M, 1-inch low-emissivity insulating glass, some clear some ceramic frit translucent; 11,300 square feet of glass in the skylights, with low iron, ultra-clear Starphire glass.