For years, Arthur Berkowitz, president of J.E. Berkowitz L.P. in Westville, N.J., has wanted to take clients and suppliers on a tour of commercial and public buildings with innovative glass features in the Philadelphia area. He wanted to host the tour for the company’s 85th anniversary celebration this fall, but party planners voted him down because of time constraints and other probable logistical problems. However, as a July 4 present to their boss and Glass Magazine readers, Berkowitz senior managers assembled a virtual tour of the City of Brotherly Love.
National Constitution Center
525 Arch St.
The center features two dramatic 2,500-square-foot all-glass entrances, a striking 8,400-square-foot curtain wall, and an innovative 15,000-square-foot interior glass ring. Designed by architect Henry N. Cobb of Pei, Cobb, Freed & Partners, New York City, the 67,785-square-foot structure boasts more than 100 interactive, multimedia exhibits.
Unified Science Center, Swarthmore College
500 College Ave.
The center achieves a contemporary architectural look while preserving the spirit of the campus’ historic architecture. Working with general contractor Skanska USA Building Inc. of Parsippany, N.J., and glazing contractor R.A. Kennedy & Sons Inc. of Aston, Pa., officials at Einhorn Yaffee Prescott Architecture & Engineering P.C. of Boston and Helfand Architecture in New York City designed 75,000 square feet of science classrooms, laboratories, offices and a student commons. The commons links to a library and a Moderne-style stone biology building. To foster movement from the eastern and southern edges of the buildings renovated in April 2004, steel-framed blocks clad in glass, aluminum and stone are cranked slightly to create front elevations as a series of inflected planes. A sleek glass-and-metal curtain wall manufactured by Kawneer North America of Norcross, Ga., and installed and glazed by R.A. Kennedy, updates the school’s Dupont Science Center area.
A court carved out of the western slope permits daylight to come into the physics laboratories under the student commons. J.E. Berkowitz L.P. fabricated combinations of insulating glass products, including approximately 20,000 square feet of Solarban 60 from PPG Industries of Pittsburgh, Reeded Glass from Pilkington of the United Kingdom, and a custom silk-screen pattern. To prevent birds from crashing into the glass, the architects consulted with an ornithologist. The choice of custom silk-screen glass alternating with clear glass creates a “no fly” zone for birds.
300 Four Falls Corporate Center
Conshohocken Exit off Schuylkill Expressway-76E
West Conshohocken, Pa.
Notable for its unusual location—embedded in a mountain along the banks of the Schuylkill River—the center uses more than 80,000 square feet of glass in seven stories, and rises like a phoenix in jewel-like beauty.
Officials at Architectural Concepts LLP of Exton, Pa., chose insulating units of Pilkington’s grey Eclipse and Energy Advantage low-emissivity glass fabricated by J.E. Berkowitz. The stepped and structurally glazed units create the look of a polished diamond to reflect the landscape. The glass also provides comfort and privacy during the day and a dramatic focal point at night.
Skanska USA Building Inc. was the general contractor and Almond Glass Works Inc. of Collings-wood, N.J., was the glazing contractor for this welcome addition to what was once a blue-collar mill town. The center was completed in October 2004.
Merck & Co.
770 Sumneytown Pike
West Point, Pa.
When officials at the pharmaceutical giant decided to expand one of its facilities with a four-story structure, Ballinger of Philadelphia provided the design and Turner Construction of Philadelphia was the general contractor for the 2002 project. The sleek building includes more than 120,000 square feet of PPG’s Solarban 60, sand-blasted glass, and lead-free Envirospan ceramic frit. The Solarban 60 provides a lower shading coefficient of 0.44 with 70 percent visible light transmission. This high-performance glass gives a near transparent look while providing optimum energy performance. J.E. Berkowitz performed the fabrication, and R.A. Kennedy & Sons installed the glass.
Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing
201 S. Columbus Blvd.
With 22-stories of Art Deco-style angles and boxes rising dramatically above Interstate 95 and the Delaware River, the Hyatt Regency at Penn’s Landing raised the bar for commercial redevelopment of the Camden-Philadelphia waterfront.
Working with Philadelphia’s Keating Group, the design team from Brennan Beer Gorman Architects of New York City employed limestone-colored stucco with a gold geometric-patterned façade and oversized windows at the base of a three-story, low-rise podium and tower.
Almond Glass Works Inc. glazed the Kawneer Co. curtain walls and ground-floor framing and entrance systems. Graboyes Commercial Window Co. of Philadelphia installed the specialty windows on the upper floors. The large openings of the lower floors created difficulties in meeting glass-deflection requirements. Officials at J.E. Berkowitz selected 12-millimeter PPG Solexia glass, a specialty product, to meet the challenge and to add consistency to the look of the building. The green tint contrasts handsomely with the limestone façade. The building was completed in 2000.
Liberty Bell Pavilion
Market Street between Fifth and Sixth Streets,
Architectural firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson of Philadelphia used Pilkington’s Energy Advantage low-e glass in the 2003 building that houses the Liberty Bell. J.E. Berkowitz fabricated the insulating glass units in combination with laminated glass and heat-treated products for added security, and Almond Glass Works Inc. installed the glass. As one of three major Independence Park buildings, the center developed from a master plan by landscape designers Olin Partnership of Philadelphia and urban planners Kise Straw Kolodner of Philadelphia.
The bell is enveloped in three architectural elements: a covered outdoor area, an elongated rectilinear exhibit hall and a tapered cubic volume housing the bell chamber.
Adjacent to Ben Franklin Bridge and Vine Street Expressway
Managers at Philadelphia Management Co. de-cided to renovate what was once Metropolitan Hospital and hired the Philadelphia firm of J.K. Roller Associates to deliver a European-style structure to provide condo residents with views of the adjacent historic square. The renovated structure offers dramatic views of the city’s Noguchi Bolt of Lightning sculpture, a memorial to Benjamin Franklin.
The segmented unitized glass curtain-wall system was supplied by Alumicor of Toronto and installed by Colory Metal & Glass Inc. of Bensalem, Pa. The choice of Saint Gobain’s 6-millimeter Pink Rosa glass with Pilkington’s Energy Advantage low-e glass fabricated by J.E. Berkowitz delivers an earth-toned look with a pinkish cast. This refurbishment has set the tone for other large residential renovation projects in the city. Plans for two new stories are in the works.
Radnor Financial Center
201 King of Prussia Road
Meyer Associates of Ardmore, Pa., worked with the developer to revitalize the former Chilton Publishing Co. facility in a cost-efficient and environmentally conscious manner. Since the existing curtain wall only accepted 1⁄4-inch glazing, Meyer involved glazing contractor Paul Rabinowitz Glass Co. of Philadelphia and J.E. Berkowitz in the early stages of the 2003 project. Rabinowitz kept the curtain wall intact by building the 1-inch glass units with a four-sided, step-glazed inboard lite employing 55,000 square feet of Pilkington's Evergreen Eclipse Advantage in step-glazed insulating units. The units were then re-installed into the 1⁄4-inch glazing pocket of the existing curtain-wall system. The offset spacer sightline on the exterior is controlled with a virtually invisible black spacer and by an additional trim cap on the interior. R. H. Reinhardt Co. of West Chester, Pa., served as general contractor.
Comcast-Spectacor’s Wachovia Complex
3601 S. Broad St.
Designed by Ellerbe Becket’s Kansas City office, the Comcast-Spectacor Wachovia Complex, formerly CoreStates Center, houses the 76ers and the Flyers, and serves as a popular venue for rock groups. The complex features a dramatic glass curtain-wall entrance. General Contractor L.F. Driscoll Co. of Bala Cynwyd, Pa., worked with J.E. Berkowitz and glazing contractor National Glass & Metal Inc. of Horsham, Pa., to complete the high-profile project under tight deadlines. The glass professionals chose high-performance, ES/low-e glass from AFGD Inc. of Toronto. The 250 irregularly shaped insulating glass units create the bold look of the private Victor’s Club’s inverted, segmented, sloped curtain wall. The fabricator also supplied Dorma HSW interior sliding and stacking glass-wall systems that house the 82 luxury super boxes.
8 Tower Bridge
161 Washington St.
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP of New York City designed 8 Tower Bridge, an example of the regeneration of a former mill town. The office building fans out in a slightly inverted trapezoid, like a puzzle piece fitting perfectly on the banks of the Schuylkill River and rising above the adjacent bridge. It gives mid-level floor occupants the feeling of being at ground level. Hence, the structure also creates a bridge for workers in city buildings and workers in suburban corporate spaces to the outside world. The R.M. Shoemaker Co. of West Conshohocken, Pa., was the general contractor, and National Glass & Metal Co. was the glazing contractor. J.E. Berk-owitz fabricated 60,000 square feet of vision and spandrel units incorporating Pilkington’s Blue-Green and Energy Advantage low-e glass. A custom color spandrel continues the architect’s vision of natural beauty and function.
Hillel Center for Jewish Life
University of Pennsylvania
215 S. 39th St., between Walnut Street and Locust Walk
The University of Pennsylvania replaced its Hillel Center with a larger facility in October 2003. Jacobs Wyper Architects LLP of Philadelphia designed the $12 million, 35,500-square-foot facility including a kosher dining facility, spaces for religious study and worship, meeting rooms and activity and social spaces.
The building features a large, two-story pleated glass wall with etched and carved panels inspired by the Book of Genesis. The panels were created by New York City artist Denise Amses. Since the panels required special fabrication techniques, R.M. Shoemaker, the general contractor, assigned the job to J.E. Berkowitz. Working with the artist, the fabricator produced the panels according to her careful instructions. Freedom Glass & Metals Inc. of Clementon, N.J., installed the glass and curtain walls.
Glaxo Smith Kline
1 Franklin Plaza
This modern building located just off of the busy Vine Street Expressway represented the first new construction in years within the city limits for the pharmaceutical industry. Designed by Meyer Associates Inc. of Ardmore, Pa., the building features a segmented 25,000-square-foot curtain wall. J.E. Berkowitz fabricated 1-inch insulating glass of PPG Solexia over pyrolitic low-e to provide optimum energy conservation. Graboyes Commercial Window Co. of Philadelphia installed the glass.
401 Plymouth Meeting
401 Plymouth Meeting Road
Plymouth Meeting, Pa.
Overlooking the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the Northeast Extension, 401 Plymouth Meeting fills Brandywine Real Estate’s dream of creating a workspace filled with light. Garrison Associates of Bala Cynwyd, Pa., chose 1-inch insulating units constructed with PPG’s Solarcool (2) Azuria. The heat-treating requirements of the glass raised concerns of roll-wave distortion and flatness when using a reflective product. J.E. Berkowitz workers fabricated the 40,000 square-feet of glass with minimal roll-wave distortion and flatness to meet the aesthetic standards, and R.A. Kennedy & Sons performed the glazing. The super-tinted reflective glass offers a dramatic statement. The project was completed in spring 2002.
Quarry Ridge Corporate Center
2 W. Liberty Road
Great Valley, Pa.
An example of dramatic office spaces, the Quarry Ridge Corporate Center sits on the border of a large quarry not far from Great Valley Nature Preserve. Architects Cathers and Associates Inc. of Malvern, Pa., designed a building defined by deep blue glass. Designed with Pilkington Arctic Blue Eclipse Advantage, the glass provides a super-tinted coated substrate. Using this special glass fabricated by J.E. Berkowitz, architects created a hi-tech space that works with, not against, its natural surroundings. The building also features a striking entryway using bent glass from Bent Glass Design Inc. of Hatboro, Pa. The glass and framing systems were installed by Hutts Glass Co. of Gilbertsville, Pa. The building was completed in 2004.
The Kimmel Center
260 S. Broad St. on the Avenue of the Arts
Described by renowned architect Rafael Vinoly as “two jewels inside of a glass box,” the Kimmel Center’s jewels are the 2,500-seat Verizon Hall and the 650-seat Perelman Theater. Designed by Russell Johnson, principal consultant, Artec Consultants Inc. of New York City, the Verizon Hall is a cello-shaped concert hall with mahogany walls and state-of-the-art acoustics; and the Perelman Theater has a rotating stage. The “glass box” refers to the center’s soaring barrel-vault ceiling reflecting light from all directions supplied by Architectural Skylight Co. in Waterboro, Maine. The 24,000-square-feet of end wall glass are supported by stainless steel cables and, like a suspension bridge, are designed to move 2 feet in either direction in high wind.
This $265 million wonder contains more than 12 miles of glass, including 164,000 square feet in the 150-foot high roof alone. A 12-story building could fit inside the center. More than 2,000 construction workers led by Philadelphia contractors L.F. Driscoll Co. and Artis T. Ore Inc. worked with a group of noted glass companies to achieve Vinoly’s vision, including J.E. Berkowitz, Dlubak Glass Co. of Natrona Heights; Viracon of Owatonna, Minn.; Almond Glass Works; National Glass & Metal Inc.; and Architectural Skylight Co.
Citizens Bank Park
Pattison Avenue between 11th and Darien streets
Unveiled on April 12, 2004, to thousands of fans, the new home of the Philadelphia Phillies features an angular and open design to help fans watch the game even when they leave their seats. The concourses are airy walkways that overlook the field instead of closed corridors punctuated by skinny portals. The open outfield provides a scenic view of the Philadelphia skyline and many of the seats are at street level. The architect-design team of Ewing Cole Cherry Brott of Philadelphia and HOK Sport+Venue+Event of Kansas City has created this intimate ballpark with unparalleled sightlines. For railings along the seating sections and walkways, the architects chose one-side supported balustrades of laminated glass with DuPont SentryGlas structural interlayer supplied by the Telford, Pa., facility of Oldcastle Glass. The glass windows in the members-only club behind home plate provide views to the batting tunnels. This one-way, tinted mirrored glass was installed by National Glass and fabricated by Viracon. The conference rooms feature custom colored and diamond-shaped ChromaFusion glass made by Cesar Color Inc. of Phoenix. The 43,000 seat ballpark has received rave reviews. Mike Schmidt, former Phillies star and Baseball Hall of Famer, says that he would have loved to have played in such a stadium.
Arch Street between 29th and 30th streets
Soon to be completed in Philadelphia’s University City, the Cira Centre is the first skyscraper to rise above the city in more than a decade. The 436-foot, 28-story de-sign is sheathed almost entirely in a structurally glazed custom curtain-wall system visible from all sides. The system was supplied by Viracon and installed by Enclos Corp. of Eagan, Minn. Designed by Cesar Pelli & Associates of New Haven, Conn., the dramatic structure gives a modern contrast to the Beaux Arts limestone look of Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station. Working with the architects, Turner Construction found a practical and workable design on a postage stamp site bounded on three sides. Owned by Brandywine Realty, the office tower is expected to open this summer.
One more, soon to come
Expansion of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
A $650 million expansion is underway at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in West Philadelphia. To be completed in several phases, the project will nearly double the hospital’s main campus with its growing demand for inpatient and outpatient care. A dramatic part of the expansion will involve replacing the façade with a glass wall encasing a mural. This exterior renovation will create additional energy efficiencies. L.F. Driscoll Co. provides construction management for the project. National Glass & Metal Co. and Josef Gartner of Germany are installing the glass supplied by Viracon and J.E. Berkowitz.