Great Glazing: Minnesota Orchestra Hall

The basics: Orchestra Hall, home of the Minnesota Orchestra in Minneapolis, originally opened in 1974 and received a major renovation completed in July 2013. The renovation includes a new all-glass curtain wall, the majority of which incorporates 23,400 square feet of conventionally glazed aluminum pressure-wall system. While this system is specifically engineered for the required high-span application, the majority of the glazing rests on an engineered carbon plate that provides the appearance of a suspended cantilevered wall system. 

The players: Architect, KPMB Architects; general contractor, Mortenson Construction; contract glazier, Empirehouse Inc.; curtain wall system, EFCO Corp.; glass rail system, Livers Bronze

The glass and systems: Empirehouse engineered an internal carbon steel support structure to accommodate the load imposed by the 60-inch by 128-inch glass lites without sacrificing aesthetics or performance, it reports. The “back of house” glazing scope included 8,900 square feet of surface-applied “veneer” wall glazing, creating the appearance of a new glazing façade with minor demolition of existing systems.

The Pilkington Planar structural glass wall assemblies incorporate approximately 3,400 square feet of top-hung cantilevered structural glass fin-supported wall systems with stainless steel fittings supporting the glass panels. Some lites exceed 76 inches by 140 inches in size. In addition to the glass fin-supported wall systems, the plaza level façade includes approximately 4,500 square feet of custom aluminum bar stock fin-supported glazed wall system.