Channel Glass Shines Throughout New Museum of the Bible
22.5-foot-tall channel glass by Bendheim Wall Systems greets visitors to the new Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC. The brilliant, towering channel glass wall-cladding defines the museum’s entrance and Arcade. It conveys a crystalline appearance, symbolic of the original building’s function as a cold storage warehouse. In other areas throughout the museum, translucent channel glass facade elements bring daylight in, while establishing a sense of privacy.
“The translucent channel glass bridges the old building and the new museum… It creates a contrast with the brick and refers back to the ice storage function of the refrigerated warehouse”
Our channel glass is known for its unique structural and aesthetic qualities. Its ability to span great heights was essential to achieving a monolithic, continuous look for the grand, 40-foot-tall main entrance.
Channel glass creates virtually uninterrupted walls of glass, limitless in length and up to 23 feet tall, with little or no need for intermediate framing. The U-shape of the glass enhances its structural properties, allowing it to achieve far greater spans than flat glass of the same thickness.
The entrance and Arcade of The Museum of the Bible are clad in our low-iron Clarissimo™ channel glass, featuring a translucent white ceramic frit. Many of the channels are selectively fritted, as seen in the two photos above, providing a seamless transition from opacity to transparency. Light radiating from the highly polished Clarissimo glass surfaces bounces off the 140-foot-long image-projecting ceiling (see photo above). According to the architects, the effect magnifies the Arcade and surrounding areas. The reflected light, working in tandem with the LED screen technology, helps transform the character of the space and creates an immersive experience.
“The translucent channel glass bridges the old building and the new museum,” said David Greenbaum, FAIA, SmithGroupJJR lead designer. “It creates a contrast with the brick and refers back to the ice storage function of the refrigerated warehouse.”
Bendheim’s 504 Rough Cast™ channel glass, installed in our SF-60 frame system, enhances the exterior of the building. The light-diffusing textured glass channels create a contrast with adjacent clear insulated glass units. The design team was able to successfully integrate the two glass types with the help of our technical experts, by implementing elegant, minimal tie-ins. From a design standpoint, “when compared to the clear windows, the channel glass implies the human struggle to find an ethical and moral path in our daily lives,” added David Greenbaum.
Bendheim glass is quickly becoming a highly sought after material for buildings of contemporary cultural significance. The Museum of the Bible is the latest national landmark featuring our specialty glass. The National Museum for African American History and Culture in Washington D.C. and South Street Seaport’s Pier 17 in New York City are other recent projects.
Bendheim is one of the world’s foremost resources for specialty architectural glass. Founded in New York City in 1927, the fourth-generation, family-owned company offers a virtually unlimited range of in-stock and custom architectural glass varieties. Bendheim develops, fabricates, and distributes its products worldwide. The company maintains production facilities in New Jersey and an extensive showroom in New York City