What is the type of glass the Steven Holl used on the Nelson-Atkins Museum?


I am referring to the opaque glass that he used in his design because I am looking for the name( if it has one in specifically), and I haven't found it.  

Nov 26, 12 1:58 pm

Pilkington Profilit

Nov 26, 12 2:01 pm

it was only a matter of time before glass block made a comeback.

Nov 26, 12 2:14 pm

Is the thickness of the glass on those website? And, I also want to know about the frame. 

Nov 26, 12 2:16 pm
juan moment


Nov 26, 12 2:36 pm

It's channel glass - No frame

Nov 26, 12 3:51 pm

there are top and bottom rails. In Holl's example you could say that cast glass channels are framed in structural steel.

Nov 26, 12 3:59 pm

I think that's a by-product of the height limitations 

Nov 26, 12 4:12 pm
juan moment

The "frame" is a variation of this detail:

and i believe jwl is right, the horizontal mullions are a result of height limitations.

Nov 26, 12 5:01 pm

unless he's switched manufacturer's, he's using the bendheim product. know for a fact since his project at cranbrook and one i was working on at u.mass were the first 2 in the u.s. to use their system and they were sending over reps from europe to work through the details with us both.

Nov 26, 12 5:09 pm
t a z

There's a Nelson Atkins wall section in this blog post:

Nov 26, 12 9:32 pm

The problem is glass block with out some sort of significant production/ material breakthrough is restricted by size and shape due to the nature of casting glass and the cooling process.  The planer glass cools faster than the corners and when this happens it literally explodes.  Renzo's Hermes store in Tokyo is the biggest glass block ever mass produced on a large scale.  Seves an Italian company made the blocks.  Also it's not self supporting and its environmental performance is crap. Anyways...there ought to be ways to achieve the same look with increased structural and performance qualities.

Nov 26, 12 10:57 pm

"Anyways...there ought to be ways to achieve the same look with increased structural and performance qualities."  This is what passes for innovation nowadays, creating your own technological problem for the sake of looks.  I have no problem with trying to design something cool, but it sort of undercuts the moral superiority of so many architects who look down on those who try to design for people rather than a magazine cover.

Nov 27, 12 9:15 pm

@ thayer-d,  I meant using other existing technologies/ material with higher thermal performance and structural properties you could achieve a similar architectural look of glass block with out reinventing something that clearly has its limits.  sorry for my poor writing but you're also quick to jump to conclusions given a few sentences about glass block...take it easy man.

Nov 29, 12 1:37 am

orion, I'll try to reply with out making you think I'm taking off my shirt, so don't take this too personally.  I know exactly what you ment, becasue you're earlier statement is clear.  My point was this architect and many others go out of their way technologically and materially to achieve certain looks in complete contrast to how materials function best.  It kind of undercuts the usual slams on traditional archtiecture as "nostalgic facades" when in actual material and technological performance they would blow this confection away.

It reminds me of a story I read about the empire state building.  A typical modernist would say this stone clad deco/gothic skyscraper is a sham becasue as everyone knows, there's no way the stone walls aren't load bearing.  Turns out it takes wind driven rain a lot longer to travel through stone cladding with cmu block backup.  In those terms alone, it would seem the Empire State's cladding is technologically superior than many glass skyscrapers, to say nothing about the thermal qualities, and the fact that people tend to feel queasy against a glass wall 75 stories up. 

My point is not to supress exploration of materials or aesthetics, I could care less what flavor icecream one likes, but if I'm going to make the best icecream, I might look at how best to combine natural ingredients rather than pine for the next Monsanto Corn Syrup product to create good ice cream.  In that spirit, when you train archtiects with ideological blinders, you keep the most obvious solutions for whatever they might invent hidden in plain sight.  I hope you don't read this comment as an angry screed, but rather just as a common sense inquary into a statement you posed, which was thought provoking.  That's a compliment.

Nov 29, 12 8:22 am
Marc Fink

Bendheim Wall Systems supplied Lamberts channel glass for Steven Holl's landmark Bloch Building, see the brochure from Lamberts at  An image of the interior cavity can be seen at the wed site of Elliptipar, the lighting manufacturer, Bendheim Wall Systems is proud to have also worked with Steven Holl Architects on Higgins Hall at Pratt Institute and the new Swiss Embassy residence. If you have questions about Bendheim Wall Systems or Lamberts channel glass, please call me at 973-330-3912 or 800-221-7379 X223. Thank you.

Dec 3, 12 2:02 pm

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