Great Glazing: National Museum of American Jewish History
The basics: Architects of the National Museum of American Jewish History, located on the famous Independence Mall in Philadelphia, created a building that has an aesthetically appealing, open design that also provides security, according to officials from APG International. The $150 million, 100,000-square-foot museum, with a $6.5 million enclosure contract, features a blast-resistant exterior that includes a striking glass curtain wall and terracotta rainscreen.
The glass and systems: The façade features glass with a translucent appearance created by a custom, hand-designed ceramic frit pattern etched onto the surface. The aluminum and glass curtain wall façade is supported by extruded aluminum channel strong backs married to a steel connector plate with countersunk stainless steel fasteners. The system is tied into the building's structural framework with stainless steel tie rods. The design allows for the system to span several floors with no need for intermediate support, creating a wall system that appears to float off the building's framework, according to officials from APG International. There are areas of the glass façade that incorporate glass and framing elements that are blast resistant for added security.
The terracotta back-ventilated rainscreen system offers energy efficiency, humidity control, long-term durability and the elimination of most maintenance, according to APG International.