Great Glazing: Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology at the University of Pennsylvania


Photos by Greg Benson

The basics: The 78,000-square-foot Krishna P. Singh Center for Nanotechnology at the University of Pennsylvania features an 18,000-square-foot custom glass façade overlooking the central courtyard. The artistic façade appears to be made of multiple layers of glazing due to the design team’s combination of five matching, but offset, acid-etched and silk-screened patterns within insulating glass units. Each lite had to be precisely aligned to achieve the desired window blind effect, according to Darrell Cherry, project manager for J.E. Berkowitz.

The players: Architect, Weiss/Manfredi; glass fabricators, J.E. Berkowitz and Walker Glass Co.; glass manufacturer, Guardian Industries; contract glazier, National Glass & Metal.

The glass and systems: JEB fabricated the 1-5/16-inch IGUs with ¼-inch interior lites featuring silk-screened patterns fabricated by the company. The exterior lites utilized acid-etched patterns by Walker Glass Co. The IGUs were laminated with a ¼-inch lite of Guardian SunGuard AG 50 low-E on UltraWhite low-iron glass to help reduce glare and solar heat gain, while maximizing natural light.

The Krishna P. Singh Center received the Chicago Athenaeum’s 2013 International Architecture Award and the 2013 American Architecture Award.