McCormick Tribune Campus Center: Panelite IGU

OMA, McCormick Tribune Campus Center. Panelite detail.

Panelite IGU is a material made up of an aluminum honeycomb (available in several colors) sandwiched between two sheets of glass. It performs on several different levels. The material acts to shade interior spaces, and is most effective when the sun angle is high, and less effective in the morning and evening when sun angles are lower. As a result, Panelite IGU acts to dramatically lower the solar heat gain coefficient (~.14). The honeycomb also serves to strengthen the glass, and can also be utilized as a sound retardant material when used in an interior wall system.

What interested me abut this particular material was its relationship to the individual. The individual’s sight through the glass are limited to a halo due to the extruded nature of the honeycomb (the included photograph illustrates this well). This halo provides a very specific and unique view into or out of the building depending on the height, and location of the individual. The field of view fades out with movement, revealing new framed moments from step to step, resulting in a unique experience for each individual passing by the building. This characteristic was especially effective in the IIT Student Union building  as it was designed around passages of circulation.

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