Mall of America is the nation’s largest retail and entertainment destination. The 4.9 million square-foot complex attracts over 40 million of visitors annually for its shopping, dining, attractions and special events, the most of any mall in America. In May 2014, the Mall embarked on a $325 million expansion — the most significant construction project since opening in 1992.
The expansion included a 342-room JW Marriott Hotel, an office tower, high-end retailers, new dining options, a tourist welcome center and large event space. In addition, the mall opened a grand entrance on the north side with an atrium and massive rotunda skylight to welcome incoming guests.
But with so much sunlight flooding in to the space from the large skylight above, the Mall had to find a way to control glare and solar heat gain to maintain guest comfort. Project designers wanted to avoid the use of shades and blinds, due to concerns about blocking natural daylight and diminishing the entrance’s “wow” factor. These mechanical options would also be difficult to clean and maintain for such a large and elevated skylight installation.
To maximize natural light infiltration and provide guests with a comfortable experience in all seasons, Mall of America chose to install electronically tintable SageGlass® glazing for the new rotunda skylight. SageGlass is dynamic glass that darkens or clears in response to sun movement throughout the day, deflecting solar heat and glare to reduce cooling costs and keep visitors comfortable.
The 3,500 square-foot SageGlass installation is composed of 300 individual SageGlass panes and operates automatically via light sensors. Tinting can also be controlled manually as needed for special events that require specific lighting conditions, such as a darkened room for an afternoon fashion show.
With the help of SageGlass, Mall of America is now creating a memorable first impression for guests entering the complex through the new expansion. The north entrance atrium also provides a versatile and comfortable new special events space.
Abundant natural light floods in from above throughout the day, but without the harsh glare and elevated interior temperatures that compromise comfort — and the increased energy bills. The space is comfortable for guests all hours of the day and it is easy to adjust the tint of the glass for special events in the large atrium.
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