Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Glass gazing in San Antonio

By Katy Devlin, e-newsletter editor, e-glass weekly

I arrived at the San Antonio, Texas, airport this morning and headed straight to the convention center for the start of the AIA show. Through the shuttle bus windows on the way to the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, I took note of the glass office buildings and high rises that the Alamo city has to offer.

In the midst of all that gazing, my glass-focused internal monologue started up again—I wonder who supplied that glass? The heat gain on that façade must be brutal in the afternoons. Those floor-to-ceiling lites have got to weigh a ton; I wonder who did the installation?

I decided to satisfy that internal industry voice and use this blog to share just a few examples of notable glass and glazing within blocks of the convention center. I dragged Glass Magazine’s editor-in-chief, Matt Slovick, on a search for glass. Here are a few things we found. If you know of more interesting glass and glazing applications in the city, leave comments, and we’ll try to check it out before the convention ends on Saturday.

We didn’t have to go far to find a great façade. In fact, this one is actually part of the convention center. The glass allows the inside registration area to fill with daylight, I’m sure greatly reducing use of interior lighting. And the exterior metal system—just awesome.

Right across the street from the convention center is the San Antonio River Center, a mall with shops opening to the outdoors on the first floor and glass-enclosed shops above. You can see there’s a hint of reflectivity on that glass, but from where we were standing, you could see sharp, clear views into the opposing shops.

My photography doesn’t do the Tower of the America’s justice. So, click here to view some professional images. I’ve heard from several native San Antonians that the views from the glass-enclosed restaurant at the top are just breathtaking.

Our brief San Antonio glass tour, however, didn’t come without a few failures. Here’s an image of a cracked (and taped) piece of bent glass on the revolving door of a local hotel—which will remain nameless. The hotel’s glass-clad tower also featured quite a few failed units—though I couldn’t quite tell what the problem was from the ground.

Check out tomorrow’s blog for coverage inside the expo. And see next week’s e-glass weekly to read convention news.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Glass Magazine, for your fantastic coverage of the AIA event! The project's dedication to "going green" is very exciting, and an inspiration to us all. :)

Kudos from Detroit!