Clockwork Precision

May 17, 2021 - by Vitro
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Clockwork Precision

Project Name

Rolex Tower

Location

Dallas, Texas

Project Credits

ArchitectsGlass FabricatorCurtain Wall Designer, Engineer, InstallerOwner

Image Credits: Vitro Architectural Glass

 

Rolex watches are known for their design and precision, so it is only fitting that the new office tower the company commissioned in downtown Dallas, designed by renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, reflects those same values.


Rising from a multi-tiered garden of reflective pools, native plantings and a hand-chiseled quarry stone wall, the eight-story structure is abruptly staggered at each floor plate to maximize daylighting and city views, and to accommodate the expanded outdoor terraces and garden sanctuaries the architect designed for each level of the building.

While the tower achieves its rotated 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, a member of the Vitro Certified™ Network, said the glass was selected jointly by Kuma and his collaborators at HDF 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,” Oehlers explained. “It also has low exterior reflectivity and it is extremely energy-efficient,” which suited the architect’s penchant for sustainable design. 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.”


Image Credits: Vitro

 

The unique twisting shape of the building presented a range of challenges. While every floor of Rolex Tower was designed as a trapezoid, each assumed a slightly different shape. As a result, no two corners of the building are the same, which made it difficult to frame up the cast-in-place concrete and to design and install the glass curtain wall.

In the end, Oehlers said the project, which consumed more than 50,000 square-feet of glass, was executed with precision. “As a result of all the preplanning, there were no hiccups and not a single delivery was delayed,” he reported.

Introduced in 2016, Solarban® 67 glass is formulated with a soft, almost undetectable neutral coating that endows commercial buildings with a clean, clear appearance and excellent solar control. When coated on an Optigray® glass substrate in a standard one-inch insulating glass unit (IGU), it delivers visible light transmittance (VLT) of 38% and a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of 0.24.

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