Bendheim Surface 1 Frit Glass Debuts at New Johnson Community College Fine Arts + Design Studio

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Custom Lumi Frit Glass Creates Luminous Exterior

We have added a new specialty glass type – Lumi Frit – to our exterior glass offering. The Surface 1 fritted glass allows architects to create customized, brilliant white glass facades. The innovative material was first used on the new Johnson County Community College (JCCC) Fine Arts building by BNIM Architects, where it was installed by JPI Glass.

The JCCC glass exterior is the first application of its kind in North America, featuring Bendheim’s easy-to-use “clip-in” ventilated glass cladding system and the new Lumi Frit surface 1 pattern-fritted glass. During the day, the brilliant low-iron glass reflects light to create a luminous, shimmering effect. It brightens and enlivens the facade as the sun tracks across the sky. “Instead of being in the shadow, it actually glows,” said John Collier, AIA, Associate Principal at BNIM. “It is interesting, because it becomes a lighting element on the north face of the building, which would normally be in the shadow.”

JCCC Fine Arts and Design Studio | Bendheim Ventilated Glass Facade Project

The custom Lumi Frit glass at JCCC features a fine white dot pattern on surface #1, laminated to our SatinTech® etched glass on surface #4 to create a strong light-diffusing effect. Behind the 170-foot-wide translucent glass facade, second-story windows fill the studios with soft, glare-free, filtered daylight. The glass facade is also designed so that it can double as a projection screen for student art, eventually transforming into a lit canvas.

Surface one frit is rare in the world of exterior glass, due to the technical challenges of producing a colored glass surface that can be exposed to the elements. However, there are numerous benefits:

  1. Lumi Frit minimizes the glass reflections, making patterns more pronounced and easier to “read” from a distance – a great way to highlight custom designs.
  2. By interrupting continuous reflections, the glass becomes visible to birds, mitigating the risk of accidental bird strikes, especially when the pattern is designed to the 2×4 bird-friendly rule.
  3. Surface 1 dot / mesh patterns can be used to project images on the glass facade.

Surface 1 frit - small dot

The new Lumi Frit glass is available in a virtually unlimited range of patterns. It is customized to the requirements of each facade project, and is currently available in ultra-white, as well as cool grey. Max. panel size is determined by the design and wind loads, and can reach sizes up to 84 x 165 inches.

The new JCCC building opening coincides with the college’s 50th anniversary. It offers studio and classroom spaces for 3,000 fine arts, contemporary arts, and design students. On the interior, our magnetic glass dry-erase boards provide multi-functional, durable glass surfaces for brainstorming, idea sharing, and instruction.

Bendheim and BNIM have collaborated on several daylight-friendly facade projects, including the University of Iowa Visual Arts Building in Iowa City, IA, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Bloch Building in Kansas City, MO.

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