There’s a structure in the state of Washington that proves that the glazing system presents smooth, monolithic appearance.
Located across the world’s longest floating bridge from Seattle, suburban Bellevue plays a large role in the Puget Sound region’s technology boom.
Home to the headquarters for Expedia.com, T-Mobile USA, InfoSpace, and offices for 7,500 Microsoft employees, Bellevue is a rapidly growing city and innovation center.
Recently added to the mix is the 929 Office Tower in downtown Bellevue.
It has an engineering office for anchor tenant Salesforce.com, a provider of cloud-based sales-and-marketing software.
In addition to the technology advances being developed by the building’s tenants, the structure itself showcases an innovation in glazing technology - a fire-rated curtain wall system with the aesthetic of a structural silicone-glazed curtain wall.
LMN Architects in Seattle describes the LEED Gold, 19-story, Class A office tower as offering “tenants a set of amenities, technology, and finishes similar to a high-end hospitality experience.”
The project’s program includes retail, a great room, social lounges, conference facilities, and a fitness center - all on the ground floor.
The building’s design “forms a distinctive ‘lantern’ over the primary street entrance,” explained the architects.
Glazing figures prominently throughout the building, “producing a dynamic interplay of light, shadows, and materiality.”
Codes required portions of the 929 Office Tower’s ground-floor exterior to provide fire protection.
As light capture was a key part of the design vision, LMN wanted fire-rated glazing for these areas that would also have the smooth, monolithic appearance of a structural silicone-glazed curtain wall system.
As a result of the vision, the tower is one of the first projects to use Fireframes SG Curtainwall series from Technical Glass Products (TGP) based in Snoqualmie, Washington.
Installed on the southeastern ground-floor corner and side of the building, the fire-rated curtain wall provides a 1-hr. barrier to the spread of flames, smoke, and heat.
As such, the glazing will help prevent a fire from traveling to or from neighboring buildings, given the tower’s proximity to other structures on one of downtown Bellevue’s 600-foot long “superblocks.”
The curtain wall system also uses a variety of strategically insulated fire-rated glazing products, including low-e and spandrel fire-rated glazing, to respond to the angle of the daylight and support balanced light transfer–all part of the building’s energy-efficient design.
Fire-rated glass is no longer a panel of institutional-looking wired glass.