With not a single delivery delayed, the project, which consumed more than 50,000 sq. ft. of glass, was executed with an exactitude of a Rolex watch.
Rolex Tower in Dallas twists skyward from a tiered garden of reflective pools, native plantings and a hand-chiseled quarry-stone wall. Abruptly staggered at each floor plate to maximize daylighting and views, the building also is designed to accommodate large terraces and garden sanctuaries at each of its eight levels.
Achieving the tower’s unique corkscrew design presented numerous challenges. While every building floor was designed as a trapezoid, each took a slightly different shape. As a result, no two corners of the structure are the same. That made it difficult for curtainwall installer, Southern Glass and Mirror (SGM), to frame up the cast-in-place concrete and to design and install the glass curtainwall. To help manage the project’s complex logistics, SGM and Tristar, the glass fabricator, engaged the Vitro Concierge Program, a service created by Vitro Architectural Glass, to deliver success at every step in the glass supply chain for challenging projects.
While Rolex Tower achieves its rotating shape primarily with concrete and stone, Solarban 67 Optigray glass by Vitro Architectural Glass is integral to its fusion of nature and architecture. Gregory A. Oehlers, executive director of architectural sales for Tristar Glass, said the glass was selected for its ability to enhance views while harmonizing with the tower’s landscaping and foliage. “Solarban 67 Optigray glass possesses a very soft blue-gray exterior color, which is very pleasing to the eye,” he explained. “It also has low-exterior reflectivity, and it is extremely energy efficient.”
Identifying the right glass for Rolex Tower was a complex process. “A plethora of products were reviewed early on,” Oehlers added. “Once the list had been narrowed to a select few, a full-sized mock-up was used for the final selection process, SGM constructed the mock-up simulating a variety of site conditions, which helped ensure the final glass choice was the right one.”
Solarban 67 Optigray glass and the Vitro Concierge Program were both vital to the success of Rolex Tower. Formulated with a soft, almost undetectable neutral coating that endows buildings with a clean, clear appearance, Solaban 67 glass delivers visible light transmittance (VLT) of 38% and a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of 0.24 when paired with Optigray glass in a 1-in. IGU.
Oehlers said Tristar reserved glass through the concierge program in advance to ensure availability at specific times throughout the project. “The coated glass was sourced from the Vitro Glass plant in Wichita Falls, Texas then fabricated at our location in Grand Prairie, Texas so we could service project needs on a local basis,” he explained. To facilitate timely glass delivery, SGM collaborated with Tristar and the concierge program manager to resolve engineering challenges well in advance of order entry. By placing its glass orders with Tristar in the sequence required, they ensured that specified glass products arrived on the job site just as they were ready to be installed.
In the end, Oehlers said the project, which consumed more than 50,000 sq. ft. of glass, was executed with the exactitude of a Rolex watch. “As a result of all the pre-planning, there were no hiccups and not a single delivery was delayed,” he reported.