New glazing revives Wexner Center for the Arts

December 26, 2006

The original glazing systems “let in too much light, were unable to maintain gallery-required temperature range, and there were leaks when it rained. It got to the point where they felt like they couldn’t display artwork in the facility. … We had to rebuild the whole system and make it look exactly like it did before.”—Neil McClelland, associate façade engineer, Arup

The basics: Overhaul of 16-year-old Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University focused on taking advantage of recent advancements in glass and glazing technology to recreate Eisenman’s vision, flooding gallery areas with light, but not compromising artwork by allowing heat gain, excess humidity and leaks. Completed October 2005; cost $15.8 million.
The players: Engineering firm, Arup, New York City; original design architect, Peter Eisenman of Eisenman Architects, New York City; glass fabricator, Viracon, Owatonna, Minn.; glazing contractor, Harmon Inc., Eden Prairie, Minn.; curtain wall supplier, Wausau Window and Wall Systems, Wausau, Wis.; skylight, Super Sky Products Inc., Mequon, Wis..
The glass: 14,900-square-foot curtain wall and 6,000-square-foot skylight featuring multicolored, triple-glazed insulating units with stainless steel spacers, argon gas, and low-iron and low-emissivity glass.