Bendheim Wall Systems Inc., the exterior arm of the leading North American architectural glass supplier, is marking its 20-year anniversary in the specialty glass facades industry. The company became the first to introduce Lamberts® channel glass to North America and establish it as the go-to solution for high-performance translucent glass envelopes. It was also the first to introduce North American architects to clipped ventilated glass facades.
Cover image: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art introduced Bendheim’s Lamberts® channel glass to North America. It is the key design element of Steven Holl’s Bloch Building addition. Photo by Roland Halbe.
In channel glass design:
- Evolution from a product for cult architecture to a solution for everyday settings, from parking garages to office interiors
- Shift towards more complex wall geometries
- Commitment to sustainability, from the glass’ high percentage of post-consumer recycled content to its lower carbon footprint (EPD)
In glass rainscreen design:
- Evolution from a quick solution for commercial facade facelifts to a key design element in a broad range of building types, from museums to schools
- An expanded range of aesthetic options with a high degree of customization
- A shift towards design assist to satisfy unique applications and increasingly complex requirements
The project that launched Bendheim’s channel glass in North America – and set the tone for its design trajectory for years to come – was the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO by Steven Holl Architects. It features glass channels that reach continuous heights up to 23 feet and form five luminous glass structures, appearing to float over the landscape.
“Channel glass design has become democratized over the past two decades,” said Robert Jayson, Bendheim Co-Owner and Partner. “We have contributed to the shift by collaborating with architects to maximize the value of each design. For example, we provided the channel glass facade for the Schermerhorn affordable housing project in Brooklyn, and it was on a very tight budget.”
“Architects continue pushing the envelope into increasingly complex shapes,” added Michael Tryon, General Manager of Bendheim Wall Systems. “We recently completed our first helically curved channel glass walls at Steven Holl’s Franklin & Marshall College, and we look forward to the next challenge.”
Building on its expertise in specialty glass exteriors, in 2014, Bendheim launched North America’s first line of fully engineered clipped glass facades. The unique systems use compression fittings to cleanly and elegantly mount any type of glass to any building substructure. Engineered with several inches of field adjustability in all directions, they also speed facade fabrication and installation.
Bendheim’s first clipped glass projects were quick, budget-friendly commercial facelifts. Over the years, new systems, glass innovation, and the company’s growing expertise drove a shift towards a broader range of building types. The most recent projects include a museum, an educational facility, an airport, and a parking structure. The latest product launch is an award-winning projectable glass rainscreen system that turns the building facade into a monumental video display. More than a protective decorative glass skin, the product has evolved into a key design feature, contributing to the art of the building.
According to Said Elieh, VP of Systems & Innovation, the increasing complexity of project designs and objectives constantly drives the team to develop new solutions. “More than 90% of our projects are fully customized, and the majority are design-assist. We work collaboratively with the architect to realize the design goals on budget,” said Elieh. “We also coordinate closely with the general contractor and installer. It’s important to create a unique and beautiful facade, but it also has to be easy and fast to build.”
As it celebrates its 20-year milestone, Bendheim Wall Systems’ team foresees a strong demand for increasingly complex facade geometries and the use of jumbo glass panels. Sustainability will continue to drive other requirements, including bird-friendly glass designs, glare reduction, and photovoltaic integration, among others.
For more information on Bendheim’s glass facade systems, please visit https://bendheim.com/professional/systems/.