Great Glazing: U.S. Courthouse, Buffalo, N.Y.
The basics: The new U.S. Federal Courthouse in the central business district of downtown Buffalo, N.Y., features an exterior skin of several distinct glazing designs. The 260,000-square-foot, 10-story building, has an elliptical face, with architectural precast and punched window openings, veiled with glass. The building, designed to earn Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, also features an extensive curtain wall providing views into the building, and a glass entry pavilion with an art glass installation. The exterior skin of the building is capable of meeting required blast design criteria.
The players: Architect, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates; general contractor, Mascaro Construction Co.; construction manager, adviser to General Services Administration, Cannon Design; contract glazier, custom glazing systems designer, fabricator and assembler, CBO Glass; glass fabricator, Viracon; art glass designer, Robert Mangold; art glass manufacturer, Franz Mayer; art glass insulator and assembler, Steindl Glas GmbH; sealant supplier, Dow Corning; extrusion supplier, Keymark Corp.
The glass and systems: 52,000 square feet of unitized curtain wall; 16,000 square feet of punched windows; 50,000 square of veil glass system; and 10,000 square feet of aluminum panels. The 28,000-square-foot south curtain wall, and the northeast podium, with 9,000 square feet of custom glazing, feature glass with a silkscreen pattern in various vision and spandrel areas. One elevation of the triangular shaped podium structure features the United States Constitution etched into the glass, with eight lites of custom, colorful translucent art glass. One half of the elliptical skin features 690 punched window openings. The building's precast area is covered in a glass veil that consists of ¾-inch laminated glass panels with various silkscreen patterns on the glass. The glass veil panels fasten to the precast with two blast sign brackets that give the illusion the glass is floating in air.