Most innovative curtain wall component

Shangri-La Buttons >> Garibaldi Glass
Sahely Mukerji
September 24, 2009

Garibaldi Glass, Burnaby, B.C., developed and manufactured a unique glass solution for Vancouver’s tallest building, the Shangri-La, a 62-story glass monument in the heart of downtown. The Garibaldi Glass team faced two design challenges: to develop an aesthetic solution to cover unsightly exhaust fans that vented from each unit and to soften the overwhelming magnitude of each of the buildings’ elevations. Working closely with developer Ian Gillespie, Westbank Projects Corp., Vancouver B.C., and architect James KM Cheng Architects Inc., Vancouver, Garibaldi Glass’ product developers created a 2-foot square luminescent “button,” made of a proprietary combination of multilayered laminated tempered glass, iridescent film and a phosphorescent paint. This combination was mounted to a custom-fabricated aluminum frame and secured to the building’s curtain wall with 7-inch stand-offs.

During the day, the 1,340, 2-foot square buttons change color from emerald greens
and sapphire blues to deep yellows and oranges, depending on the light source and the viewing angle. With the addition of a phosphorescent layer within the construction, the buttons come alive without the need of a generated power source.

“The ‘button’ solution developed by our project and product development teams answered some difficult architectural and civic challenges,” says Carey Mobius, president, Garibaldi Glass. “By combining several materials and treatments, an innovative solution was achieved that we’ve not seen before. It really was a result of a team effort, and one that makes not only the building unique but added a dramatic effect to the city’s skyline both during the day and at night without the use of electricity for illumination.”

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