SentryGlas® chosen by Cesar Pelli for clear, strong "icon wall" at Tulsa's BOK Center
When internationally acclaimed architect Cesar Pelli conceived of the design for the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he was inspired by civic leaders' desire for an architecturally significant icon with a world-class identification for the city. The 18,000 seat arena spans four downtown city blocks and plays host to the region's major entertainment and sporting events.
One highly visible feature of the center's design is a 600-ft-long curving glass wall which extends up to more than 100 feet above grade and is illuminated at night. Known as the "icon wall," the 39,700 square foot glazed wall wrapping the southern facade is composed of 1,600 glass panels which both curve and tilt. The transparency and ethereal character of the design were enabled by DuPont™ SentryGlas®.
Pelli said, "From many places in the building, including from many of the seats, people will be able to see out. People will be able to recognize the city and its surroundings. This back and forth connection between the interior and exterior contributes to the richness of the space." Other sources of inspiration were the "freshness and lightness" of Tulsa's Art-Deco-styled buildings and the Arkansas River that flows through the city.
The icon wall exceeds local building code requirements for withstanding high winds. Knowing that Hurricane Katrina had caused major glass breakage in buildings near the BOK Center site, Pelli recommended DuPont™ SentryGlas® for its performance under impact. The DuPont™ SentryGlas® interlayer provides superior strength, with post-glass breakage strength that exceeds that of PVB and holds even shattered glass in place.
"We wanted it [the arena] to represent Tulsa: self-confident, optimistic and dynamic," said Pelli.
The glass panels are 1 5/16" thick overall, composed of an insulating laminated unit with a high-performance low-e coating and a 9/16" laminate with a DuPont™ SentryGlas® interlayer. The interlayer enhances the safety and strength of the entire assembly. A white ceramic frit covers more than half the glass area.
The transparency and strength performance of laminated glass made with the DuPont™ SentryGlas® structural interlayer allows the BOK Center to be both exceptional and durable. "This building, for me, tries to express the spirit of what I found in Tulsa. A sense of optimism and sense of can do and faith in the future and this is what the building is about," said Pelli.