Most Innovative Decorative Glass Project, Commercial Exterior

William H. Gross Stamp Gallery Smithsonian Postal Museum

AGC Glass Company North America,

The new 12,000-square-foot William H. Gross Stamp Gallery at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum features an exterior wall of windows that utilize AGC Krystal Images glass, which is produced using high-resolution digital imaging technology and Krystal Klear ultra-transparent low-iron glass for truer color and clarity. Krystal Images was combined with an outboard lite of Energy Select 63 low-emissivity glass, creating an energy-efficient insulating glass unit. Fifty-four unique historic U.S. stamps are depicted on approximately 1,500 square feet of glass, providing a striking nighttime glow that shows how the history of America can be told through stamps, AGC officials explain.

The architecture firm, Cho Benn Holback and Associates,, chose this specific glass for its accurate color saturation and superior resolution, AGC reports. Installed by Ridgeview Glass, Inc.,, Krystal Images helped bring the stamps to life. “The biggest challenge that AGC’s Krystal Images glass solved was achieving the color accuracy of these rare, historic stamps,” says Scott Cardwell, architectural consultant for AGC Glass Company North America. “Krystal Images can be manipulated to produce the perfect color, sometimes down to the pixel level. This allowed us to support the design team in creating a distinctive look.”

The decorative glass tells the nation’s history from a unique perspective that anyone, from the casual visitor to the most avid stamp collector, can enjoy and appreciate, according to project officials. “This is a defining moment for the National Postal Museum—a once-in-a-lifetime chance to create the world’s premier museum gallery dedicated to philately,” says Allen Kane, director, Smithsonian National Postal Museum. “The William H. Gross Stamp Gallery educates and inspires people of all ages through exhibits that feature stamps as a window to the American experience.”