Philadelphia’s iconic Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts has transformed a once nearly uninhabitable rooftop garden terrace into a comfortable glass-enclosed social space with the help of SageGlass® dynamic glass.
The Kimmel Center is a city-block-wide collection of performance halls and open spaces enclosed inside a soaring 150-foot-high barrel-vaulted glass roof. Atop the Center’s highest elevation – on the roof of Perelman Theater – sits the Dorrance H. Hamilton Garden Terrace, which offers stunning views of the cityscape, and overlooks the entire Kimmel Center complex. But the barrel vault roof made the terrace space too hot in daylight and reflected noise from events, interrupting other guests below.
Today, the new Hamilton Garden Terrace has been transformed into an elegant glass and steel structure that effectively manages both the noise and environmental problems of the original space. The new $14 million renovation features a vibrant ballroom-type space for weddings and events, and food service run by celebrity chef Jose Garces of the Food Network’s Iron Chef.
The new glass enclosure limits event sound propagation while SageGlass serves as the structure’s 2,100-square-foot rooftop, taming the sun without blocking the cityscape views. SageGlass is electronically tintable dynamic glass for windows, skylights and curtain walls that tints or clears to modulate light, heat gain and glare. Rather than using conventional sun controls such as mechanized window shades, blinds and louvers that tend to block sunlight and views, SageGlass provides a solution that enhances occupant comfort and enables unobstructed views of the outdoors.
“We initially designed in motorized shades that would be pulled during the hot times of the day because we knew the solar load would be so intense,” said architect Donna Lisle of BLT Architects. “But motorized shades are expensive, often break or won’t close evenly, and you can’t see out through them. The glazing contractor, APG International, Inc., suggested we look at SageGlass as an alternative, which has worked out perfectly for the project.”
Lisle said that SageGlass also helped them achieve a “wow” factor that the building owner wanted in the architectural design.
“When the SageGlass skylights fully tint they create this big defined square of clear cobalt blue that is stunning to view from the plaza below or outside from the street. The building owner also wanted the design to enhance the rental appeal of the terrace as a ‘sky room,’ which was characterized by its connection to the day and night sky and the unique perspective of seeing the cityscape from above. Being able to maintain those views with electrochromic glass helped us achieve those objectives,” she said.
Edward Zaucha, CEO of APG International, the glazier who installed all of the glass in the terrace roof, said he was glad that they had SageGlass in their product line-up when it came time to bid this project. “With its barrel roof and extraordinary amount of daylight, the Hamilton Garden Terrace presented us with some interesting glazing challenges. For solar control, SageGlass delivered a solution that no other glazing could provide,” he said. “In this way, SageGlass helped us solve a problem for our customer and at the same time helped us differentiate our business from other glaziers.”
SageGlass®, a product of Saint-Gobain, is advanced dynamic glass that can be electronically tinted or cleared to optimize daylight and improve the human experience in buildings. SageGlass manages the sunlight and heat that enter a building, significantly reducing energy consumption while improving people’s comfort and well-being. It can reduce a building’s cooling load by 20% and HVAC requirements up to 30%. It is a smarter, more elegant solution than conventional sun controls such as mechanical window shades, blinds and louvers. With SageGlass you can control sunlight and glare without shades or blinds while maintaining the view and connection to the outdoors. SageGlass is manufactured in Faribault, Minn., in the heart of “the Silicon Valley of the window industry,” and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saint-Gobain of Paris, the world’s largest building materials company.
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About Saint-Gobain in North America
Saint-Gobain has its North American headquarters in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. As the world leader in sustainable habitat, Saint-Gobain is committed to inventing solutions to help professionals and communities around the world build and renovate comfortable, healthy, economical and energy-efficient buildings. The company has more than 250 locations in North America and approximately 15,000 employees. In the United States and Canada, Saint-Gobain reported sales of approximately $6.2 billion in 2014.
Recognized as a 2009 and 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Saint-Gobain earned the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award, the highest level of recognition for outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. For more information about Saint-Gobain in North America, visit www.saint-gobain-northamerica.com and connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.
In 2015, Saint-Gobain is celebrating its 350th anniversary, 350 reasons to believe in the future. Backed by its experience and its capacity to continuously innovate, Saint-Gobain, the world leader in the habitat and construction market, designs, manufactures and distributes high-performance and building materials providing innovative solutions to the challenges of growth, energy efficiency and environmental protection. With 2014 sales of $54.6 billion, Saint-Gobain operates in 64 countries and has over 180,000 employees. For more information about Saint-Gobain, visit https://www.saint-gobain.com/en and the twitter account @saintgobain