Libraries are made for learning; treehouses are built for socializing and communion with nature. Recently, with the help of Solarban® 90 glass, the new library at Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico united the charms of both dwellings to earn a prestigious award from the American Library Association (ALA) and International Interior Design Association (IIDA).
“We wanted it to feel like a treehouse in the middle of the campus forest,” said Pablo Savid-Buteler, LEED® AP, the project’s main architect and a managing principal with Boston-based Sasaki Associates. That edict produced a multi-faceted, multi-story, glass-walled structure that soars into the school’s tree canopy while providing brilliantly unobstructed views of Monterrey and its majestic mountain backdrop.
Built on the site of the school’s original library, the new student center is inhabited by a bookstore, café and retail space on the ground floor and sprawling open terrace on the top floor with spectacular views of Cerro de le Silla (Saddle Hill) in the distance. Sandwiched between are four floors of study space, with an emphasis on technology and collaborative learning on the lower floors and quiet study and contemplation on the higher floors.
Huge floor-to-ceiling windows, fabricated with Solarban 90 solar control, low-emissivity (low-e) glass by Vitro Glass, facilitate activities within the library while functioning as a central beacon for the rest of the campus. The world’s first quad-silver-coated glass, Solarban 90 glass combines exceptional solar control performance with the neutral aesthetic of clear glass.
Solarban 90 glass has a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of 0.23 with visible light transmittance (VLT) of 51 percent. Those two figures produce a light to solar gain (LSG) ratio of 2.22. The result is an optimized balance of solar performance and daylighting for the library – and a corresponding reduction in demand for artificial lighting and air conditioning, which consume more than 65 percent of the energy used in most commercial buildings.
The ALA/IIDI Library Interior Design Awards are given biennially to recognize achievement in interior design aesthetics, creativity and function. The main library at Tecnológico de Monterrey won a 2018 award in the category of interior design for an academic library.
With 31 campuses in 25 cities, Tecnológico de Monterrey is the largest university system in Mexico. It is ranked among the top five university systems in Latin American and among the top 200 universities in the world.
To learn more about Solarban 90 glass and Vitro Glass’s full line of CRADLE TO CRADLE CERTIFIED™ architectural glasses, visit www.vitroglazings.com.