Glazing Gives Renovation a New Look

While new construction may be down, renovation projects can provide an ideal opportunity to give an existing building a new look with glass. As an example, 1 McKinney Plaza in Dallas was a 24-year-old mixed-use space that had been less than 80 percent leased. Building owners Gaedeke Group decided to market the space to new tenants, adding retail and lobby space to the property to help maximize occupancy. The $5 million dollar project was designed by BOKA Powell Architects and features the extensive use of glass to help re-define the building’s appearance.

Patrick Magill, a principal with BOKA Powell, served as the project manager for 1 McKinney Plaza, and explains that, given the size of the building it had a small elevator lobby and entrance prior to the renovation.

“Gaedeke Group wanted to expand the lobby and give it some presence and also bring it closer to the street,” says Magill. “We enlarged and created a formal lobby; updated it and gave it a new look. It was a 2-storey lobby and we wanted to showcase the interior features and create transparency between that lobby and street while still keeping it as open as possible.”

The team achieved this openness through the use the Pilkington Planar system, which was installed by Trainor Glass. The system features ½-inch thick clear face glass with ¾-inch think clear fin glass all supported/assembled with fittings and channels at the head and sill.

In addition, Trainor fabricated, cut, assembled and installed a number of other glazing elements, including curtainwall and doors supplied by Kawneer, as well as all glass doors, sidelights and transoms for both the interior and exterior.

Magill says the transparency provided by the glass gives people outside on the street the opportunity to see in.

“[The entrance] now has a significant presence on the street and showcases the inside spaces,” he says, adding “In many ways this work was all about the glass, which provides an elegant, clean crispness.”

He adds that the glass was 21 feet tall.

“Working with glass of this size can be challenging,” says Magill, who explains it had to be able to provide structural support.

Commercial renovations can sometimes pose unique challenges. In this case, careful engineering was required to incorporate existing aspects of the building with all the new elements being introduced.

“Trainor had to engineer accordingly and accommodate all aspects of the existing building as well as incorporate and consider the new elements being introduced,” says Nichole Evans, a project manager with Trainor Glass Co. “We had to field measure much of the interior scope to cut down on remakes, which also helped keep us within our allowable budget.” Evans says for the material with the longer lead times they had to work closely with the general contractor and surrounding trades to ensure “the openings that we were given per the architectural drawings and from the approved Trainor shop drawings were all met and kept to allow us to proceed as necessary in order to meet the project schedule.”

Evans adds, “Basically keeping everyone aware of [lead times] helped to ensure that we would not have as many issues later on that could have very well caused the project completion dates to slip and/or that could have put us over budget.”

In addition to the exterior, a variety of glazing details are also within the interior. These include smoke mirrors around the entire elevator shaft, 3/8-inch thick clear tempered glass for the display cases and ¼-inch clear tempered glass used at the security desk to encase the computer monitors.

The project was completed in January 2011.