Glass helps create a blue 'jewel' at Miami’s Fontainebleau

Architects' Guide to Glass & Metal
June 3, 2009
COMMERCIAL, FABRICATION : PROJECTS

In early 2005 new ownership of Miami’s Fontainebleau resort, which first opened in 1954 and was originally designed by architect Morris Lapidus, embarked on a project to revitalize and restore the property. Plans called for the addition of a world-class spa-a freestanding building on the property that would serve as a soothing oasis for guests. Dallas-based architectural firm HKS Inc. was charged with the task of designing the spa. Their design was a contemporary, two-story, 40,000 square-foot “jewel box” building, featuring a striking glass structure with canted walls.

Glass selection was critical. From an aesthetic perspective, architects were searching for a blue glass that would complement the colors of the surroundings and offer reflections of the historic Lapidus architecture. From a performance standpoint, the glass needed to meet Miami’s stringent large missile impact requirements and hurricane codes while also providing energy efficiency.

The first challenge was engineering the 10-degree lean-out insulating glass curtain wall to meet Miami’s building code requirements. The team at Accurate Glass Works Inc. modified a YKK curtain wall system to lean out with horizontal members parallel to the ground, according to a June 3 Architects' Guide to Glass & Metal report.