The University of North Dakota’s (UND) Robin Hall’s sleek, light-filled design features a curtainwall and storefront system to meet the structure’s modern aesthetic, sustainability goals and performance requirements.
Opened last year as the tallest building in Grand Forks and the headquarters for the unmanned aircraft systems programs at UND’s nationally acclaimed John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences, the $22-million, 72,000-sq.-ft. Robin Hall—designed by ICON Architectural Group—rises five stories and ascends into a 127-ft. glass and metal tower at the structure’s entrance. Brin Contract Glazing worked closely with ICON and Tubelite to accomplish this signature element.
The new building accommodates the exponential growth of unmanned aerial systems in the region. “We carried this vision into the design with such areas as the executive board room featuring floor-to-ceiling curtainwall and the ultra-clear glass tower observation floor. These two areas invoke the sense of expanse and are where some of the most remarkable views in all of the Red River Valley can be witnessed,” says Matti Roinila, ICON.
Capturing these views, Brin enclosed the building’s tower on all sides using Tubelite 400 Series screw spline curtainwall. The aluminum-framed system was fabricated using 11,261 sq. ft. of insulated glass with low-E coatings. “The tower’s glass is crystal clear. When backlit at night, it radiates across the campus. During the day, the interior is brightly lit with natural light,” says Brin’s senior project manager, Elias Tovar.
Roinila also emphasizes, “Managing solar heat gain was a key performance requirement due to the design intent for the 127-ft. glass tower. The Tubelite system provided this performance requirement, while allowing ultra-clear glazing to be utilized.”
Including the curtainwall on the glass tower, the building’s façade showcases four Tubelite systems installed by Brin: nearly 10,000 sq. ft. of Tubelite’s 400 Series screw spline shear block curtainwall for the tower and lower levels; 1,400 sq. ft. of 200 Series shear block curtainwall on the northwest corner; 13,000 sq. ft. of 14000 I/O Series storefront for the punched openings; and 360 sq. ft. of E4500 Series interior framing for the vestibule.