Bendheim SatinTech® Architectural Glass Complements an Old Glass Warehouse

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Something caught the eye of the architects on an initial walk through of a warehouse being converted to new offices for general contractors Dan Matarozzi and Dan Pelsinger, owners of Matarozzi/Pelsinger Builders, located in San Francisco’s Mission District.

Douglas Burnham, principal of envelope Architecture + Design, located in Oakland, California, and Michael Cotton, project architect, were taken by the history of the old warehouse, the exterior of which blended perfectly with the eclectic mixture of other neighborhood warehouses, homes, and apartment buildings.
As Michael explained, “we discovered that the space was at one time a glass warehouse. One of the buildings still had glass stored in it, in a very simple, yet beautiful way. Vertical stacks of raw uncut glass.”
And that was the inspiration for an idea that became a reality and satisfied several design challenges for the new space. The old interior was too small – tight and noisy. The intense, frantic environment had to go.
Bendheim’s 1/2″ low-iron SatinTech® Low-Iron Etched glass was the ideal solution for the interior partitions. As Michael noted, “we felt that glass was potentially a good material to incorporate into the space, providing a sense of the refined skills of Matarozzi/Pelsinger Builders, a top notch contracting company proud of their craft. The low iron content makes the glass less green – an important consideration as you look at the edges. The 1/2″ thickness provides a sense of solidity and lets you appreciate the substance of the product. We also went with an unpolished edge on the glass. It’s hard to explain, but that edge treatment provides a sense of the material as more elemental – getting at the essence of glass as a refined but also a pure material, like the glass originally stored in the warehouse.”
“This was the first time we used Bendheim architectural glass, and we’ve been using them ever since. We were very pleased to find a solution that evokes the history of the building, performs very well as an acoustic barrier, and is aesthetically beautiful. The partitions refract light from the skylights above, and provide a striking contrast to the warm Hemlock wood and rugged exterior. Bendheim’s local California representative provided samples, and quickly relayed information, shortening the decision making process and paving a smooth road for implementation.”
The final challenge came with the installation. As Michael commented, “it was important to minimize gaps for sound isolation. Recessed aluminum channels were installed in the walls and central cabinet piece, and the glass was installed vertically and caulked into the channels (butt-glazed at corners). It was critical to keep a clean, level line across the tops of the glass partitions and that there be a minimum gap at the floor, but the refinished hemlock was uneven. Nickel shower enclosure brackets from C.R. Laurence were used, with custom-made metal shims under each bracket. Supreme Glass installed the glass once the brackets were in place.”
About Bendheim

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