Date: 8 November 2021
With an artistic blend of blue- and gray-tinted Solarban® 60 glass from Vitro Architectural Glass, Five City Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania, features a striking façade and daylit interiors.
While the Allentown-based developer City Center Investment Corp. wanted a beautiful glass building for its 13-story mixed use tower, the contractor North Star Construction Management was interested in a buildable building that stayed within the installation and cost boundaries of a unitized system.
“Within those parameters, we worked to create something that could be iconic for downtown Allentown, while still being clean and simple,” relates Kaman Skinner, RA, LEED® AP, associate, project manager, JDavis Architects, Philadelphia.
Located in a tax-incentive district, Five City Center makes a valuable contribution to the city’s efforts to re-invigorate a designated Neighborhood Improvement Zone. The building offers active street views from the first three stories and panoramic, 360-degree views from floors four through 13. To successfully fulfill its design objectives, the architectural team devised the tinted mosaic design for the façade facing the city’s commercial corridor.
To achieve the mosaic look, the architects reviewed multiple shading and tinting options with representatives of Vitro Glass to determine the percentage and patterning for each color. The 300,000-square-foot building facade incorporates rich blue Solarban® 60 Pacifica® glass, aqua-blue Solarban® 60 Azuria® glass, light sky-blue Solarban® 60 Solarblue® glass, warm-gray Solarban® 60 Opitgray® glass and coated Solarban® 60 glass on a clear glass substrate.
On the southern façade, the firm designed mullion caps to blend Five City Center more effectively into the texture and scale of the surrounding residential area. For enhanced interior comfort and glare control, JDavis deliberately specified darker shades of glass for the southern and western façades.
Initially brought in to design the residential portion of the mid-rise and the 800+-car parking structure behind the building, the developer eventually tasked JDavis with developing the entire block.
“This was a win-win for us in that we were able to work on both the Five City Center commercial tower and the residential community of Center Square Lofts to design a single urban block where interior and exterior worked hand in hand to create a vibrant, walkable and energetic community,” says Skinner.
With its advanced double-silver coating, Solarban® 60 glass offers a clear, color-neutral appearance. When used with Pacifica®, Azuria®, Solarblue® and Optigray® performance-tinted glasses, Solarban® 60 glass delivers solar heat gain coefficients (SHGCs) ranging from 0.23 to 0.30, and visible light transmittance (VLT) of 34% to 50%, offering architects and specifiers an expansive palette of color and performance options.
For more information about Solarban® 60, Pacifica®, Azuria®, Solarblue® and Optigray® glasses and the rest of Vitro Glass’s full line of architectural glasses, visit www.vitroglazings.com or call 1-855-VTRO-GLS (887-6457).