Three Unique Fenestration Projects

Wood Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Retrofit Team

Architect: Perkins + Will

The dining hall’s high-performance curtainwall is anchored by Guardian SunGuard SuperNeutral 68 glass on #2 and #5 surfaces in triple-glazed units, providing a visible light transmission of 52 percent and a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.32.

The dining hall’s high-performance curtainwall is anchored by Guardian SunGuard SuperNeutral 68 glass on #2 and #5 surfaces in triple-glazed units, providing a visible light transmission of 52 percent and a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.32.

Materials

The dining hall’s high-performance curtainwall is anchored by Guardian SunGuard SuperNeutral 68 glass on #2 and #5 surfaces in triple-glazed units, providing a visible light transmission of 52 percent and a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.32.

“Not all of the glass is colored—only about 30 percent,” explains Carsten Stinn, senior project designer, senior associate at Perkins+Will. “The rest is clear. In those areas, we wanted to offset the color with real views of the exterior—the true landscape, which is what SunGuard SuperNeutral 68 provided—not a glass that was tinted gray or provided an alternate image. We wanted the best of all worlds.”

“Triple IG units with two lites low-E and one custom-colored Vanceva interlayer are quite complicated,” adds Bruce Butler, general manager, Hartung Glass Canada, the glass fabricator. “We had to ensure monolithic production and lay-up was perfect or performance and the visual appearance would be affected.”

“Guardian, Hartung and Glazier Bucher Glass made the best combination of aesthetics and price point we could find,” Stinn concludes. Thanks to the team effort, the result is a campus destination that invites students in and keeps them there by offering a comfortable space with beautiful views year-round.

Glass Manufacturer: Guardian Industries Corp.
Independent Guardian Select Fabricator: Hartung Glass Canada
Independent Glazier Connection Member and Metal Supplier: Bucher Glass Inc., (907) 452-2394

The Retrofit

The University of Alaska Fairbanks planned a 34,000-square-foot addition to and renovation of the Wood Center to expand the dining facility and create a campus destination.

Perkins+Will wanted to create a building that was visually interesting and inviting to passersby. The design team also wanted it to be so comfortable, occupants were happy to stay put, regardless of the season. The original building did little of either. Mentioning its few small, punched windows, Devin Kleiner, project architect, associate at Perkins+Will, explains: “They were sitting nooks. It was one of the first things we talked about. The students wouldn’t sit near the windows, even if it were warm enough. It was a psychological thing.”

The Perkins+Will team was determined to change that perception while considering the complexity of the climate with its lows of -10 F and highs that have reached 90 F.

“Our glazing solution needed maximum solar exposure and to move daylight into the building,” Stinn says. “We needed to find a glazing solution that was high performance, well insulated and offered as much daylight harvesting as possible. The first goal was to satisfy energy and performance of the glass; second was the aesthetics. It was a tough set of criteria.”

In addition to focusing on daylighting, Perkins+Will was motivated by another kind of light: The amazing northern lights show, the aurora borealis. “The concept for the colors came very early in the design concept,” Stinn adds. “At that latitude, the sky is quite beautiful in winter. We wanted the building to resonate—to hint at aurora borealis.”

The Perkins+Will vision resulted in a new, colorful dining hall. The 2-story building overlooks southern views. The curtainwall honors the aurora borealis and gives the building a colorful, inviting exterior appearance while occupants become part of an “otherworldly” light show: Because of the extreme low angle of the incoming sunlight, vividly colored shadows move through the entire depth of the building.

“There’s been a huge shift,” Kleiner says. “We interviewed one student who said he stopped going to the library to study. He just comes to the Wood Center. Between the outdoor view and the daylighting coming in, it’s all about creating pleasant spaces. I thought that was really interesting that the library is being replaced. The students can see what is going on inside and want to be there.

PHOTO: Kevin G. Smith Photography

Be the first to comment on "Three Unique Fenestration Projects"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*


%d bloggers like this: