WWGlass: Rose Center for Earth and Space

The unprecedented excitement over the grand opening of the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History begins even before entering the arresting structure that has been described as a “cosmic cathedral” by the project’s architect, James Stewart Polshek.

Much of this excitement surrounds the striking, Pilkington Planar- glass cube installed by W&W Glass Systems, Inc. of Nanuet, New York.The glass exterior walls of the Rose Center cube are made of low iron Pilkington Optiwhite™ an extremely clear material.At first glance, the visual simplicity of the support system for the curtain wail and the roof belies the complexity of the structural system. Tubular steel trusses are braced by high-strength, stainless steel tension trusses.

Stainless steel castings known as “spiders,” developed by W&W and the architect, hold the single-pane, monolithic sheets of glass in place.

The glass facades facing north and west, rise 95 feet from above the terrace level to a continuous tempered, insulated, and laminated glass roof. There is approximately 30,000 square feet of glass in the cube. The Hayden Sphere hovers inside the cube, the lower portion obscured by the base, so that it appears to be rising within the structure.

Completion of this high-profile project represents the next logical step for a firm that continuously embraces and successfully meets the engineering and design challenges in structural glass from the world’s top architects. With the Rose Center, W&W proved to the world it could step up to the challenge and demonstrate again that they are the leading structural glass specialty contractor in North America.

It comes as little surprise that this hallmark project was awarded to W&W who had for the past 20 years, established a reputation for innovation in glass design and installation. This is apparent with recent projects such as the construction of the country’s first design-build, double-skin, point-supported wall at Yasaki North America’s headquarters in Canton, MI and the country’s tallest insulated suspended glass wall that graces the facade of New York City’s Conde Nast Building.

W&W, the country’s sole distributor and installer of the world-renowned Pilkington Planar System, bid on the Rose Center project against a German and a French company more than three years ago. W&W won the bid for the $7.5 million contract. Their role in the project extended beyond the glass installation and included confirmation of all of the engineering for the primary steel truss structures, the grass/fittings systems, and the stainless steel rigging that acted as the lateral wind bracing support. Overall, W&W held full contractual responsibility for coordination of the glass elements.

W&W Glass Systems, Inc., is one of the largest glass and glazing companies in the U.S. and the nation’s design/build leader in structural glass systems. Through direct sales and local representatives, W&W is the exclusive distributor of Pilkington Planar Systems throughout North America. The partnership of W&W Glass and Pilkington offer a level of expertise and service chat is unequaled. Major works in progress include IBT-Segerstrom in Costa Mesa, CA and River East Center in Chicago.

600450 WWGlass: Rose Center for Earth and Space glassonweb.com

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