September 05, 2013

Structural Glass Lifts into Place at Kimmel Center

Specialized suction-cups are used to lift the 22-foot glass panels for the entryway on Spruce Street.

Work continues apace at Philadelphia's Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and renovation projects are planned to open to the public late 2013. A new entranceway is among the renovations, as is a new restaurant at street level to be operated by Chef Jose Garces. Both projects were identified in our master plan for the Kimmel Center, which seeks to provide transparency and activity to the building perimeter.

This week, structural glass panels were installed to form the new, transparent entry. The panels, which measure 22.5 feet tall and 5.5 feet wide, contain four layers of laminated glass with a thickness of approximately 2 inches in total. They were fabricated by Roschmann Group in Germany, who also supplied the glass panels for our work at the James A. Michener Museum.

Before and after images of the entrance on Spruce Street--soon to be enclosed by structural glass overlaid with colorful, large-scale graphics.

Before and after views showing the Spruce Street exterior of the building. A glass entryway is in progress, and beyond it, a new restaurant with glass bays that extend into the sidewalk.

Local glazing firm National Glass & Metal Co. conducted the installation, which was accomplished with the use of a special suction-cup apparatus for lifting and positioning the glass. During installation, the panels were braced with temporary brackets that will allow the structural silicone that will be inserted between the panels enough time to set before the brackets are removed. 
The new entrance helps enliven the building at the street level, bringing transparency to a formerly solid brick, opaque facade.