Getting Closure

Gallery Envelope

The building envelope, the exterior skin, is slowly closing up. The exterior walls of the lower office area are getting pretty solid. The final exterior finish of stone veneer still needs to be put in place. The window openings are recognizable but the aluminum frames and glass are not in place.

The portion of the building that is still wide open is the high volume Gallery area on the upper level. While there are some solid walls in the Gallery, the walls consist mostly of large expanses of glass in aluminum curtain wall framing. While the framing is just beginning to go in, you can sense the transparency and views that there will be in the finished Gallery.

Gallery Closure

The aluminum curtain wall spans vertical distances of 20-22 feet. The north side is nearly 30 feet wide and the south side is some 56 feet wide. There is also a narrow expanse of glass on the west wall that is equal in vertical height. The cross-section of the aluminum framing for these large areas of curtain wall is 2 ½ inches wide by 11 ¼ inches deep; pretty stout. The specifications were shared in the post “Glazed Over – a frame of reference.”

Curtain Wall

You can imagine the size of these pieces of aluminum tube framing and glass. The vertical aluminum tubes are over 20 feet tall, the horizontal cross members are almost 8 feet long and the glazing pieces are roughly 3 feet tall by 8 feet wide of triple glazed glass. Moving these around the site and into place is no easy feat. Things seem to have gone pretty well on the installation of the curtain wall until we came across the photo below.


The holes for the clip angles that attach the 8 foot cross members are off on one of the vertical tubes. They are off for every horizontal member from bottom to top of that tube. While mistakes happen, they must be corrected. This is an unfortunate one as the high durable finish on the tubes is a custom color that takes several weeks to order. The contractor was notified once the mistake was discovered but we are not sure how this will impact the completion of the curtain wall system. A patched and repaired tube is not acceptable for the level of quality that the Visitor Center requires.

We’ll see what path this heads down.

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