Building Material Alternatives
Philadelphia, Boston, New York, New Jersey
When you need new construction or a remodeling solution that allows for daylight to come in, but can stand up to severe weather, consider glass block.
An example is the Lloyd Hall in Philadelphia. A multi-use public recreation facility in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, Lloyd Hall features a grand gymnasium, banquet facilities, and riverside cafe. Two of its walls feature large expanses of glass, one of which faces the Schuylkill River.
“We needed a solution that allowed for daylight to come in on ground level but that could stand up to a lot of wear and tear and abuse,” said Lisa Armstrong, principal architect on the project. “So it’s a building that’s made out of hard-wearing permanent materials, but that looks very inviting due to the visibility through the glass brick at ground level.”
“We wouldn’t have been able to have that length of exposed wall without using masonry,” Armstrong said. “The only solution, if we wanted to have transparency, was the glass brick.”
The glass block used was Pittsburgh Corning Vistabrik®. It took transparency a step further, because of how it treats light reflected from the river outside.
“The glass brick provides a really quite wonderful dappled light effect that comes off the water and is reflected on the ceiling and back onto the floor,” said Armstrong. And that’s not all. “The natural color of the glass has a slight aqua tint to it,” Armstrong explained, adding an element of beauty.
Vistabrik is a versatile building material. As an 8 inch square, each brick has a human scale, yet fits well into the 90 foot expanse that forms the river-facing wall.
Vistabrik comes in solar wall tubes or solid glass block, as shown here. Some of the characteristics of Vistabrik are characterized in the solid 3″ thickness of the glass with a stippled finish to add privacy. This glass brick is durable, impact, vandal and bullet resistant, low maintenance and aesthetically attractive with good light transition and medium privacy.
Additionally, the Solar Wall Tubes replace standard masonry units and allow light transmission for LEED contribution and improved thermal performance. Available in various sizes with choice of privacy levels, you can get 90% visible light transmission. Depth ranges from 8in – 16in.
Do not hesitate to contact us here at Eastern Glass Block. We have offices in New York and New Jersey and over 20 years of experience designing and installing Glass Block nationwide. We have completed some of the most creative residential and commercial glass block designs ever done. Call us. We love to share our experience and knowledge.