Faceted facade evokes regenerative prairie burns.For most projects, admits VernerJohnson's Jonathan Kharfen, architects steer clear of evoking a potentially destructive force like fire. But Museum at Prairiefire, the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) outpost in Overland Park, Kansas, proved an exception to the rule. Because Prairiefire houses AMNH's traveling exhibits, its content is constantly changing, and thus provided little guidance in terms of an overarching design concept. Kharfen instead looked to the location. "What is the area about?" he asked. "For me the first thing that came to mind were the prairie burns. Coming from Boston, I'd never seen anything like it." Using dynamic materials including dichroic glass and iridescent stainless steel, VernorJohnson crafted a faceted high performance envelope that embodies the color, movement, and regenerative power of fire. Not long after landing on the fire metaphor, said Kharfen, "I knew of a couple of materials that would be perfect, because for me it's all about movement and light." He began researching dichroic glass, a composite glass that changes colors depending on the angle of view. The museum's sustainability goals—the project is targeting LEED Silver—dictated that the material would double as an insulating unit, the first such application in the United States. But that presented an additional challenge, as products with the dichroic properties embedded in the glass itself would break the budget. To lower costs, the architects collaborated with fabricator Goldray Industries to design an assembly incorporating dichroic film from 3M. The solution turned out to be an aesthetic boon as well as a cost-cutter, as the film itself carries a flame-like pattern. "It's subtly dimply, it's animated, it's beautiful," said Kharfen. Kharfen's team paired the dichroic glass with a second shape-shifting material, Light Interference Coated (LIC) stainless steel, ultimately applying panels in a variety of color and finish combinations. "With the stainless steel, I wanted to create [the appearance of] flame bursts and sparks," explained Kharfen. "I didn't want to apply it in a random way." Instead, the architects arranged the panels in a gradient, with blue (near the bottom) giving way to burgundies and reds and finally to golden yellow. For Kharfen, it was not enough that the materials themselves convey a sense of life and movement. "I wanted them to be dynamic shapes, dynamic in plan as well as in elevation," he said. His solution—a faceted curtain wall—upped the project's technical ante. To avoid cluttering up the lobby space with columns, Kharfen worked with structural engineers Structural Engineering Associates to design a custom support system of stainless steel tubes fronted by angled mullions, to which the curtain wall is attached as a veneer. To accommodate the 14 unique angles involved in the faceting, curtain wall manufacturer Kawneer developed a new adjustable mullion, a hinged plate with a 180-degree range of movement. Given the museum's ever-changing content, the architects treated the exhibit spaces as "black boxes," said Kharfen. "For the solid areas I wanted to evoke the overlapping, curved forms of the hills." The client, Fred Merrill of Merrill Companies, loved the stonework at VernorJohnson's Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan, Kansas, which suggests striated rock formations. "He asked, 'Can't we just do that here?'" recalled Kharfen. "I said, 'No, we're going to do something different.' I wanted a gradient." To cut costs and simplify installation, the architects whittled a more complex scheme down to a mix of two different stones in each band, with the bands varying in width. Again, the referent is fire: the walls begin with a charcoal-colored architectural cast stone before moving through Kansas limestone in shades of red, brown, gold, and off-white. Together, the stone-clad exhibit halls and the lobby curtain wall complete the picture of a prairie burn. "I wanted the fire elements to engulf and connect the solid volumes," said Kharfen. "I did them as lines of fire, because, historically, that's how these fires were set." But while the burn metaphor extends to every level of detail, including the flicker-flame-inspired sloping at the tops of the doors and windows, for the project architect the museum design ends where it began: with the primary materials. Speaking again of the dichroic glass, he concluded, "I cannot think of a material that looks more like fire than this glass."
Posts tagged with "3M Architectural Markets":
When the plan for Markthal Rotterdam first appeared, it seemed like one of those interesting, but never going to actually happen type of projects. There was no way that MVRDV’s sprawling food hall set underneath a 130-foot-tall arching roof that itself contains 228 apartments would ever be realized. Well, it turns out there was a way, and Rotterdam figured it out. This week, the Netherland’s Queen Máxima opened the market, which is expected to attract between 4.5 and 7 million visitors every year. The interior space is defined by a nearly 12,000-square-foot mural called “Cornucopia” that, as you may have guessed, shows produce and the like. “In order to achieve the required sharpness, the image was rendered by Pixar software,” explained Rotterdam Partners in a statement. “It was printed onto perforated aluminum panels, then attached to acoustic panels for noise control. The print resolution of the art work is comparable to a glossy magazine.” That mural is bookended by massive, arching-glazed cable net facades that create the effect of transparency throughout the structure. To contrast with the market's colorful interior, MVRDV used grey natural stone to clad the structure and define the surrounding public space.
Fixed or floating, glass panels can bring color, pattern, texture, and spatial definition to an interior—without impeding the spread of light throughout the space. Used as part of a wayfinding or identity scheme, or simply to introduce a note of artistic distinction, the choices range from traditional cast and mouth-blown design to high-tech fabrications. Lasercut Poured Glass 3Form An interlayer of laser-cut fabric gives these laminated glass panels depth and dimension. Offered in four patterns in over 40 colors. Moonstone Lumicor Composed of glass aggregate that is 98 percent to 100 percent recycled post-industrial or post-consumer content, these panels are LEED eligible. Isola Murano Glass Soli Combining the art of traditional glass blowing with modern technology, these one-of-a-kind panels can be cut to spec or installed as whole pieces. Graph, Alexander Girard Collection Skyline Design One of ten designs in the new Alexander Girard Collection, panels are available in sizes up to 72 inches by 144 inches, in four thicknesses. Patterns are etched or printed in transparent, translucent, or opaque effects. Scrimshaw Pulp Studio Sporting sketchy linear patterns in a freehand technique, this etched mirror glass is suited for hospitality and commercial applications. Creanza Encast, Creanza Interiors Collection Cristacurva Interlayers of fabrics, metallic mesh, and rice paper give this line of laminated glass a natural character. Dichroic Glass Finishes 3M Architectural Markets Glass is easily transformed using this pressure-sensitive, repositionable film. Available in warm and cool color palettes, it is Class A fire-rated. Plank Joel Berman Glass Studio Available in panels up to 58 inches by 110 inches, this kiln-cast glass can be fabricated, tempered, and color-matched to order.
As the buzzword "transparency" gains greater meaning in product specification, glass is an energy-saving, sustainable, and aesthetically pleasing option. Strand 3form 3form’s Pressed Glass is newly available in the Strand pattern (above), a compressed interlayer of fine gauge threads in three monochromatic colorways. It can be further customized through color matching, etching, and fritting options. Available in widths as large as 48 inches and lengths of 120 inches, it can be specified in either a 5/16-inch or 1 5/16-inch gauge thickness. Its inherent strength meets ANSI Z97.1 standards. DF-PA Dichroic Film 3M Architectural Markets 3M’s Dichroic films can be applied to any smooth surface with a pressure sensitive adhesive; the DF-PA is recommended for glass applications. Two color values—Chill and Blaze—span color ranges from blue to magenta to gold, in either a fully covered opacity, or as a decorative graphic. Durability complies with interior and exterior use, and the film can be easily removed from architectural screens, window fronts, curtain walls, or glazing when it is time for an update. Railings and Floors CARVART This structural laminated glass can be safely specified for floors and railings. Flooring can be installed as a freestanding finish or incorporated into another system with specially engineered mounting hardware, and stair treads can appear to “float” or integrate into stringers. For railings, top and side mounting options can be affixed to most structures, or can be suspended from coordinating adjustable point fittings. Railing caps are available in round, oval, or square profiles. Alice General Glass Digital printing directly to glass provides customization options as broad as the imagination of the architect or designer. Bespoke patterns or imagery can be specified, in addition to a selection of bright and monochromatic colors and patterns for glazing, curtain walls, or interior applications. Fully opaque backing is also available, enhancing the contrast and crispness of any printed design. SunGuard Super Neutral 68 Triple Glaze Guardian Industries Guardian SunGuard SuperNeutral 68 glazing offers improved solar control and abundant natural light. The Valley View project shown here uses SunGuard SN 68 triple glaze, providing a visible light transmission of 52 percent and a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.32. SunGuard SN 68 can also be laminated for noise reduction and hurricane protection. KnollTextiles Glass Collection Skyline Design Seven designs from KnollTextiles are rendered on glass through two production techniques: Eco-etch achieves varying levels of opacity, and AST Digital Glass Printing introduces color to partial transparency. These options provide for customization of classic patterns like Divine and Enchantment, designed by Dorothy Cosonas, or the mid-century Cyclone and Fibra, designed by Eszter Haraszty. Liquidkristal Lasvit Designed by Ross Lovegrove, Liquidkristal was inspired by dynamic forms found in nature. The design was first modeled digitally to simulate thermo induction, which can imbue the qualities of water to glass under very high temperatures. A large-scale mold system was formed from the study’s results, to produce multiple pattern variations over multiple sheets. In addition to interior applications, Liquidkristal is also suitable for glazing and facades. Olivia Joel Berman Glass Studios The circular, three-dimensional pattern of Olivia is enhanced with subtle reflectivity to inflect motion into any space. Back painting options are available in a range of colors on panels measuring 53 by 108 inches. Produced for interior applications, it can be tempered for safety and impact resistance on exteriors as well. ClearShade Glazing Unit Panelite A honeycomb-like insert fits between two sheets of glass and redirects up to 70 percent of natural light, reducing solar glare and heat gain for midday-SHGC measurements as low as 0.11. The cellular configuration is made from a durable but transparent polymer that is resistant to UV rays. The product’s bi-directional scattering distribution capabilities are compatible with Radiance, Energy Plus, and SketchUp modeling programs. Sungate 600 PPG This double-glazed insulated glass unit boasts an efficient configuration tailored to the region of application. In climates where heat gain is optimal, coating on the Number 3 surface blocks heat loss for a U-value of 0.33, while maintaining a 0.65 SHGC and visible light transmittance of 71 percent. For higher insulation values, the Sungate 600 coating can be placed on the Number 4 surface when combined with a solar control low-e glass, for a net gain in U-value of 20 percent. SageGlass Simplicity Sage Electrochromics This electronically tintable glazing is available in a solar-powered, wireless format. In lieu of low-voltage wired connections, a strip of solar photovoltaics interfaces with a low-profile electronic controller and battery pack that can provide power for up to two days without a charge. The wireless system also configures with light and building management programs from Siemens, Lutron, Schneider, and Johnson Controls. Bistro Green Vetrazzo Vetrazzo, the recycled glass division of Polycor, has been diverting glass from the waste stream since 1996. The surfacing material uses consumer beverage containers, waste from glass manufacturers, building demolition, traffic light lenses, windshields, shower doors, and more. It takes nearly 1,000 bottles to make one 5- by 9-foot panel that is 85 percent glass by volume and bound with Portland Cement. Sixteen of Vetrazzo’s product lines are Cradle to Cradle certified. Dynamic Glass View Glass Insulated glass units as large as 5 feet by 10 feet feature programmable electrochromic levels of 60, 40, 20, and 4 percent tinting with user controls from a smart device app to reduce heating and cooling loads, electric lighting, and solar glare. An intelligent setting can be programmed for sensory occupancy to optimize energy usage as well as user comfort. All four tint levels can be achieved in one unit, with adjustment times akin to the passing of a cloud overhead.
Designtex, a domestic supplier of textiles and wallcoverings, has announced a collaboration with 3M Architectural Markets as the exclusive distributor of its DI-NOC Architectural Finishes for North America. While it has been a major success in the Japanese market for the past 15 years, 3M launched the product at this past NeoCon, held annually at Chicago's Merchandise Mart. Available in more than 500 patterns and colors, the finish can achieve the look of materials in unexpected places to meet building codes, fire codes, even standards for weight restrictions on cruise ships. The pressure-sensitive adhesive also allows for ease of application, thanks to a micro-grid pattern that pushes air out from beneath the film and activates a proprietary resinated bond. The film can also be easily removed and reapplied for up to 24 hours, at which point the glue cures. DI-NOC is stable in hot, cold, dry, and humid climates, and can be heat formed around curves and corners for a monolithic appearance. The E-Series is also available in a non-vinyl option—realized in polyester—though this option cannot be heat formed. Both the vinyl and polyester films can be laser-cut to maximize material use and precision.
From floor to ceiling, and all planes in between, these interior surfacing solutions are durable and work across a variety of applications. I Frammenti Brix This micro mosaic of 2,304, 5-millimeter-square ceramic blocks on a 12- by 12-inch sheet of fine mesh provides a full range of flexibility, perfect for finishing curved or irregular walls. Available in both glossy and matte treatments, I Frammenti comes in mixed colors of sand, gray, and black; blue, white, and azure; white, gray, and black; white, sand, and black; and blue, gray, and azure. DI-NOC 3M Architectural Markets The color and texture of a naturally unwieldy material can be applied to irregular or gravity-defying surfaces with an 8-millimeter architectural vinyl film from 3M (above). The lightweight material comes in rolls for a smooth application and can be heat-stretched over corners and sharp edges for a monolithic look. It comes in more than 500 patterns and textures, thanks to a combination of digital printing and embossing techniques. Pyne Arborite A bold, graphic faux bois is rendered on high-pressure laminate for Pyne, one of three patterns in the INK series. Designed by Giona Maiarelli, the pattern is a wink to his Italian view of 1960s America, refined by years of graphic work for the likes of Milton Glaser and Harper’s Bazaar. The product comes in 4- by 8-foot panels and is available in inverse combinations of Purple and Orange. Biobased Xorel Carnegie Seven years of research went into reimagining the Xorel line of wall coverings and upholstery fabric—traditionally a petroleum-based product—in sugar cane. The U.S. government grants a bio-based label to any product with at least 25 percent biomaterial, but Xorel is composed of between 60 and 80 percent sugar. Ninety-one colors are available in three existing and three new patterns. SilentMesh GKD Metal Fabrics GKD has developed a ceiling solution from its line of metal fabrics. The multi-layered system features a lightweight aluminum honeycomb core that is stable, sound absorbing, and maintains strong architectural edges and finishing details. While large-format panels are compatible with the drop ceiling framework prevalent in North America, it also comes with a custom T-grid suspension system for clean, flush seams that conceal traditional joints. Deconstructed Patcraft Deconstructed embraces the foundation of carpet. It integrates the backing of either a modular or broadloom format into the face of the floor covering. Monochromatic thread fibers at varying heights are variegated by exposing the matrix pad for pops of color and texture. The product is material efficient, lightweight, and soft. All components are 100 percent recyclable and Cradle-to-Cradle certified. Krion Porcelanosa Aluminum trihydride and highly resistant resins form an antibacterial and durable surfacing material that is highly resistant to UV radiation, fire damage, staining, and extreme environmental exposure. It can be cut similar to wood or marble, scored for dramatic backlighting, and thermoformed for seamless corners and irregular shapes. Warm to the touch, Krion is available in nearly 50 colors and styles, including a white that boasts more than 99.8 percent purity. Maglia Pulp Studio To achieve a smoother surface than traditional woven metal materials with additional sound-blocking capabilities, Pulp Studio developed Maglia, a laminated glass sheet embedded with architectural mesh for interior applications. Low-iron glass highlights metallic details in both annealed and tempered formats while complying with Category I and II of the Consumer Product Safety Commission standards. Any of Pulp Studio’s meshes are available and custom weaves can also be specified.