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Jewel-like sleeve and canopy of laminated glass for The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Safety glass with SentryGlas® high strength interlayerClear laminated glass lets as much natural light as possible filter through the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's new glass facade.

A "jewel-like" encapsulation, consisting of 3,000 m2 of clear laminated glass containing DuPont™ SentryGlas® structural interlayer, for the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), to be completed in the spring of 2006, gives a sparkling new image to one of the leading children’s hospitals in the United States. Meanwhile, a 19 feet-high laminated glass ‘canopy’ that projects out at 32 feet over the hospital’s main entrance, incorporating DuPont™ SentryGlas® Expressions™ decorative glass technology, introduces "a colorful, child-oriented design element" to the overall facade according to the architects.

KPF of New York was the Design Architect for the entire renovation, with Ballinger of Philadelphia as architect of record for the laminated glass re-cladding, known as Phase III. Ed Cizek and Melissa Mather of Ballinger told Laminated Glass News: "The architectural design intent with Phase III was to encapsulate all the new additions to the building using this unifying, all-encompassing and very beautiful point-supported, laminated glass sleeve facade . KPF’s design basically called for the removal of the original skin of the hospital, where the main entrance would be shifted to the south-east corner to accom-modate a newly-refitted lobby highlighted by the grand design of the new canopy.

The facade
"The new facade was designed for a working hospital; the device of a glass encapsulation meant that the hospital could continue to function fully during the 30-month renovation period as there is a five-meter corridor space between the old facade and the new glass sleeve. The design team wanted a jewel-like transparency from the totally clear laminated glass used throughout the facade, so that as much natural light as possible could filter through this crystalline glass envelope into the hospital, including the patient rooms. Because of the way we want the hospital facade to look at night, lighting up the downtown area of the city, we have started to refer to it in-house as ‘The Jewel of Philadelphia’.

The Canopy
Ballinger’s Melissa Mather said: "The decorative laminated glass of the canopy works as a visual extension of some colorful, vertical art glass pieces situated in the space between the façade sleeve and the pediatric patient rooms. It is as if the pattern is continuing both vertically and horizontally." Specialty glass fabricator Bent Glass Design of Hatboro, PA supplied the decorated laminated glass for the canopy. Company president Steven D. Lerner said: "The design intent was to produce a glass fin with multiple colors in it. Use of SentryGlas® Expressions™ technology made the processing of the job dramatically easier to fabricate. We were able to control the accuracy for locating the individual color locations for all 45 lites of glass because each color combination was printed to the interlayer matching the individual glass fin’s requirement. This meant that we just had to lay-up the glass; we did not have to worry about any splicing or location issues. In our view, SentryGlas® Expressions™ technology provides designers with greater flexibility, while offering precision control of designs and color."

Structural design
The architects called on structural engineers Dewhurst Macfarlane of London and New York for help with the design of the façade and canopy. Tim Macfarlane said: "Our challenge was to simplify the design of the glass facade and the sizeable glass canopy as much as possible. Thanks to a design using laminated glass with SentryGlas® structural interlayer, we were able to minimize the thickness of the glass panes and maximize the failsafe behavior of the glass. The bolted connections to the frame were further simplified by using the largest glass panes possible.

"For point-fixed facades, laminated glass with SentryGlas® hails in a new era, as CHOP’s glass sleeve and canopy illustrates very well. In our view, SentryGlas® structural interlayer is the optimal solution for a bolted glass façade, which can now be achieved with full engineering con-fidence and safety, to a degree that could not be done before. Even if both sheets of glass fail, the panel as a whole will not fall out due to the strength of the interlayer. The laminated glass for the façade and the canopy was fabricated by China Southern Glass of China and supplied by J. E. Berkowitz LP of Westville, New Jersey, an independent architectural glass fabricator. J.E. Berkowitz also supplied insulated glass units incorporating laminated glass and low-E coatings for skylight applications.