Great Glazing: Where glass and metal fabrication meet

Jenni Chase
July 25, 2011
RETAIL : SNAPSHOTS: GREAT GLAZING
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For a residence in Naples, Fla., Faour Glass Technologies provided three sets of custom stainless steel and glass stairs, glass floors, a custom front-door system, and interior showers and mirrors. Faour's biggest challenge on the project was orchestrating the design and fabrication of the three unique staircases with steel fabricators in Alabama and Florida, according to the company's Angelo Rivera.

"The stainless stringers were constructed of ¾-inch solid stainless plate that was waterjet cut and precisely machined to accept the point-fixed hardware," he explains. "It was imperative that we achieved tight tolerances and accuracy since we were ordering glass at the same time we were fabricating the stringers."

As for the floors, the biggest challenge was laminating a perimeter stainless steel border to the glass floor to hide the support beams and provide the desired look, Rivera says.

Glass treads, floors and landings were made of three lites of ½-inch Starphire glass from PPG, laminated with Dupont's SentryGlas Plus interlayer. M3 Glass Technologies provided the glass.

In addition, Faour designed and installed the exterior cable rail system and custom front door system at this residence. "The client had seen a similar design for the front entrance in New York City and asked us to incorporate a similar design for the door," Rivera says. The door is all stainless steel and glass, with the door and frame constructed of tubular steel and the door inserts of ¾-inch, waterjet cut stainless steel. Each insert started as a flat panel in which Faour glaziers cut out the design. There is no welding on the inserts.

On projects like this one, the lines are blurred between the metal fabricator and the glass company, Rivera says. "As customers require more integration of these elements and single-source responsibility, we are finding ourselves doing more [metal] and metal companies doing more glass." 

Jenni Chase is editorial director of Glass Magazine, e-glass weekly and GlassMagazine.com. Write her at jchase@glass.org.