Chicago O’Hare Airport’s Terminal 5 was designed more than 20 years ago, so when it recently underwent a renovation and expansion, architects specified Starphire Ultra-Clear® glass by Vitro Architectural Glass to enhance the original building’s existing architecture and continue it through the mezzanine renovation and expansion.
Designed by Epstein Global and commissioned by the Westfield Group, a two-story interior curtainwall serves as a partition separating secured and non-secured areas of the airport terminal.
Starphire glass panels fabricated by Goldray Industries, line up against one another and create a continuous image that shows the gradual changes in color and texture that can be seen when heading inland from Lake Michigan to Chicago and on to Illinois’ rural cornfields.
The panels were created with Dip-Tech digital printing technology, which uses a flat-bed printer to print high-resolution images on glass.
The panels depict lakes, shallow shores, city buildings and farmland in a collage of rectangles and squares. The art was inspired by NASA satellite imagery. Transparent rectangles filter natural light from windows and skylights without diminishing the curtainwall’s privacy function.
“Starphire glass has less of a green tinge when compared with clear glass,” said Roxanne Laverty, Goldray marketing coordinator. “To ensure the best quality of colors on the digitally printed image, Starphireglass was the obvious choice.”
Introduced in 1990, Starphire Ultra-Clear glass remains the clearest, most transparent commercial float glass available today, with visible light transmittance (VLT) of 91 percent in a standard ¼ inch (6 millimeter) thickness.