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Project of the Year Runner Up 

museum facade with laminated, translucent glass tubes

Photo credit: Richard Barnes and Olaf Schmidt

Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Kinder Building | Houston

Nominating company: Eastman Chemical Co.

Winning Team

  • Contract glazier: Josef Gartner (Permasteelisa North America)
  • Glass fabricator: ShenZhen ShenNanYi Glass Product Co.
  • Architectural interlayers: Eastman Chemical Co.
  • Façade and structural engineer: Knippers Helbig Advanced Engineering
  • Engineer: Transsolar | KlimaEngineering
  • Architects: Steven Holl Architects, Kendall Heaton
  • General contractor: McCarthy Building Companies

The almost other-worldly exterior of the new Kinder Building, part of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, is wrapped with laminated, translucent glass tubes. Material providers were tasked with creating an all-glass façade that would control daylighting and brightness so as not to affect the experience of the art inside, says Caitlin A. Olson, marketing communications representative, Eastman Chemical Co. As a solution, each tube in the system of 1,150 laminated glass tubes is composed of four translucent Vanceva Arctic Snow PVB interlayers, which make up a “cool jacket façade” surrounding the building’s exterior walls, says Olson.

With each tube measuring a little over 21 feet, the tubes are located in front of opaque walls with large punched openings in the weather wall. Softening daylight, at night the glass tubes glow with a soft artificial light, creating a “luminous streetscape,” Olson says.


Norah Dick

Norah Dick

Norah Dick is the associate editor for Glass Magazine. She can be reached at