Glas Trösch: Beacons of education and architecture

For Columbia University’s business school in New York, renowned American architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro worked with FXCollaborative to create two new buildings with a distinctive appearance.

The design’s fundamental element is an architecture geared towards transparency and communication that is intended to have an impact both inside and outside in the neighbourhood.

With a total of 12,700 square metres of insulating glass, BGT Bischoff Glastechnik products contributed to the university buildings’ unique character. The company, which is part of Swiss glass manufacturer Glas Trösch, also supplied the individual components for the façade glass for the upper floors. All areas that appear opaque from the outside, measuring 7,600 square metres, were printed with a ceramic white paint fired into the surface during the tempering process. Some of the particularly weather-resistant, printed outer panes with a total thickness of 23.52 millimetres posed a technical challenge in the manufacturing process because they were given a fixed-size coating externally before lamination. The remaining 5,100 square metres were screen printed around the edges. A further 12,700 square metres of unprinted laminated safety glass, which form the inner panes of the insulating glass units, are spread across the entire surface of the façade.

Design, functionality and sustainability go hand in hand in the two university buildings in New York, which is why the new structures are targeting a Gold LEED v3 certification. The choice of the partially printed insulating glass surfaces also makes a significant contribution to this goal, because the opaque areas of the façades prevent excessive heating of the interior.

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