Case Study: A Lesson in Partnership for Microsoft 5th Ave

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Earlier this month, Microsoft hosted a Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto where CEO, Satya Nadella, led his opening remarks with “Microsoft has always been a partner-led company and always will be a partner-led company”.

While reflecting on our work with Microsoft’s 5th Avenue flagship, we couldn’t help but echo these words of appreciation, as the partnerships we made during production, truly led to the success of this project.“We were up against a compressed schedule” says AGNORA Project Manager James Cole, “We would not have been able to hit that deadline without the full commitment of the client and partners to communicate and collaborate.I was thoroughly impressed with how prompt, courteous and attentive everyone was; it was truly a team effort.”



AGNORA worked extensively with architectural design firm Gensler during the design phase to create a large laminated glazing design that met both their creative objectives and optical criteria.

The original design of the laminate called for several butt seams which AGNORA was reluctant to fabricate as they would be visible and have the potential to capture air if misaligned.

Instead, AGNORA worked to secure a source for a 130” wide SentryGlas ionoplast interlayer and was able to eliminate the seams altogether.

On layers 2 and 4 of the laminate, frit was applied at a varied width, to mimic a vertical grey perimeter band; this masked the mounting hardware.

Microsoft’s Facade features oversize triple laminates.



As the project advanced into construction, AGNORA partnered with W&W Glass for the laminated façade glazing.

“Aside from coming up with a fully custom system design” says Jeff Haber, Managing Partner at W&W Glass, LLC, “one of our biggest challenges was sourcing three-ply low-iron laminated oversized glass, lites as large as 20’ wide by 10’ tall, that could be delivered in a very tight lead time at a high quality level for Microsoft’s flagship store in the city.”

AGNORA produced some of their largest triple laminates to date. For this project, the largest size was approximately 120” high x 246” wide x 1 ½” thick.

Structural integrity for the large triple laminates called for 3 layers x ½” Pilkington Optiwhite low iron glass which was heat strengthened (AGNORA offers the unique ability to heat-strengthen at this thickness) using oversize 130” wide SentryGlas ionoplast interlayer.

Some of the interior glazing components, interior glass stair stringing and treads, were supplied by AGNORA, who partnered with National Mallfront.

The stair stringers were comprised of 5 layers of ½” Pilkington Optiwhite low iron glass, SentryGlas ionoplast interlayer, reaching lengths of 180” long.  Stair treads and landings made of 3 layers of ½” Pilkington Optiwhite and a top layer of ½” low iron Walker-Traction Glass, P406.


Given the tight timing, AGNORA ensured that the glass was produced ahead of schedule and with no delay on site. Both W&W Glass & National Mallfront’s installation teams were set up for success.

Glass was delivered to the 5th Ave., NYC site, some at night via dedicated super jumbo glass trailers that allowed for direct installation. Both firms were extremely well prepared to receive the deliveries of the glass and therefore installation went smoothly and efficiently.

Agnora’s customer service was excellent. They were very responsive to our needs in regards to changes on the fly during the installation process.  The glass was fabricated with great edgework and alignment, and it was packaged perfectly for us.  It was delivered right on time when we needed it. Their team was on point.” – Sam Chang, Project Manager at W&W Glass, LLC


Lesson Learned

While Microsoft’s way of working with “Windows” may be quite different from AGNORA’s, it’s safe to say that both companies approach partnership in the same way; with respect and admiration.

Thank you to our partners for such a great project and work experience!

Architectural Design Firm: Gensler

Glazier: W&W Glass

Glazier for Staircase: National Mallfront

Glass Suppliers: Pilkington & Walker Glass

Interlayer Supplier: Kuraray

Seeking more inspiration? Check out this project and many more on our Projects page.

600450 Case Study: A Lesson in Partnership for Microsoft 5th Ave

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