BUSINESS: Bendheim Architectural Glass Welcomes Occupants At Iconic Structure

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By Daniel Webster, dWeb.News Publisher

NEW YORK, NY, Sept. 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Several architectural glass products from Bendheim blend transparency and privacy in a major renovation at one of the world’s most iconic structures.

Bendheim’s Gothic(tm) and Houdini(tm) glass were among the architectural choices in the $500 million renovation of Willis Tower in Chicago. Formerly known as the Sears Tower, the renovation covered 460,000 square feet and reached across five floors. Gensler was the lead for Blackstone and Equity Office, real estate investors.

Willis Tower, which held the mantle of the world’s tallest building for 25 years, is home to about 15,000 workers and hosts 1.7 million annual tourists. Skydeck Chicago’s observatory at Willis Tower makes it a popular tourist attraction.

Architects specified nearly 2,700 square feet of Bendheim’s glass to achieve different design objectives in the project. The main exterior staircase is highlighted by backlit translucent white glass stair risers. In the lobby, textured, 40% post-consumer recycled Gothic EcoGlass(tm) in clear and translucent white provides transparency, while also offering some obscurity. To help obscure security equipment,

Houdini glass was used as a security area. Gensler also requested translucent White and Grey colored glass for the project. To give the lobby a feeling of warmth and hospitality, Gensler used a custom-made double-sided Bendheim bronze etch mirror.

The overall design objective was to design a building that felt more welcoming for workers, tourists and the 170,000 people who work or live within a 5-minute radius of the building. Gensler, in a project profile on its website, said its “charge was to create a vibrant, world-class destination at a site that is not currently realizing its full potential.”

The renovation includes 300,000 square feet of new retail at the base of the tower as well as a new 30,000 square foot outdoor deck. The redesigned building also includes a subterranean area that allows visitors to look up 111 stories. The new amenities include a fitness centre, tenant lounges, as well as a private event space.

Willis Tower was completed in 1974. The 1,450-foot skyscraper is the third largest building in the Western Hemisphere, and stood as the world’s tallest building for nearly 25 years. The tallest buildings in America that are higher than Willis Tower are Central Park Tower and One World Trade Center.

Christopher Glass Services was the contractor, while Turner and Clayco were general contractors.

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