Great Glazing: Barnes Foundation Museum


Rendering of the Barnes Foundation museum.
Employees from JE Berkowitz fabricate glass for the Barnes Foundation Museum. 

The basics: A large engineered glass wall serves as a central design element for the Barnes Foundation Museum's new location in Philadelphia. The wall features large laminated insulating glass units that weigh more than 2,000 pounds. The two-story, 93,000-square-foot building includes 12,000-square feet of exhibition space with 16-foot ceilings. In addition to the glass wall, the building features about 7,000 square feet of laminated glass units for its windows. The museum is scheduled to open in spring 2012.

The players: Architect, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects LLP; general contractor, LF Driscoll Company LLC; glass fabricator, JE Berkowitz L.P.; window glass manufacturer, PPG Industries; engineered glass wall manufacturer, Pilkington; window system supplier, Duratherm Window Corp.; window system installer, Colory Metal and Glass; engineered glass wall installer, National Glass & Metal Co.; interlayer supplier, DuPont; engineered glass wall hardware design and engineering support, NuPress Facades.

The glass and systems: The museum windows feature laminated glass units, some with double layers of .100 SentryGlas Plus. The laminated units vary in size and incorporate combinations of 3/16-inch lites of Starphire low-iron glass, ¼-inch lites of Solarban low-emissivity glass, and ¼-inch lites of Solarcool reflective tinted glass. The engineered glass wall features 16 large insulating glass units. The IGUs are 2 3/16-inch thick, consisting of two lites of 5/8-inch Optiwhite low-iron glass laminated together with a .060 PVB interlayer, a ½-inch warm-edge spacer, and one 3/8-inch Energy Advantage low-E clear glass. Many of the units are more than 70 inches by 188 inches in size. Some are conventionally glazed and others are point-support installed.