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.
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.