Burj Khalifa (heck, we even went to visit!), it’s remarkable we’ve never stopped to wonder who makes all the high-performance materials that make a mile-high building technically possible.
We’re glad we did, though, because it turns out that one of Architizer’s advertisers, Guardian SunGuard, is the company responsible for cladding the Burj’s facade. Yep--that's Guardian glass that Tom Cruise is scrambling over in Mission Impossible 4!
Burj Khalifa, under construction
As you can imagine, there are some technical challenges involved with cladding the world’s tallest building. Issues like reflectivity, heat gain, and material sustainability all posed challenges to the design team at Skidmore Owings and Merrill, the New York firm that designed the building. It was difficult to even conceive of how, say, glare from a nearly 3,000-foot-tall building would affect the surrounding neighborhood, where low-rise condos and pools abound. And with hotels, apartments, spas, and restaurants inside the building, it was essential the the floor-to-ceiling windows kept residents and guests comfortable.
After a long phase of research and testing, SOM chose a combination of two Guardian SunGuard Advanced Architectural glasses. One, their Solar Silver 20, gives the Burj its signature blue-grey gleam. The other, ClimaGuard NLT Low-E glass, offers awesome solar performance. Together, they strike a balance between aesthetics and functionality that form one of Guardian's chief initiatives, namely, to "Build with Light".
In this way, the Burj was "built in light" using glass that both subscribed to the architects' daring vision and supplemented it with high-performance features that improved on the architecture. How much glass, you ask? There are over 1.8 million square feet of Guardian SunGlass on the Burj.
Time Warner Center
As we were researching SunGuard, we realized that their Advanced Architectural glass is all over the place--including our home base, Manhattan. In fact, one of the most iconic towers built in recent memory--the twin towers of the Time Warner Center--are even clad in SunGuard. Like the Burj, Time Warner was built by SOM, who used SunGuard glass to class the parallelogram-shaped buildings. Another thing the two buildings have in common? Star power. The towers were features in the post-apocalyptic Cloverfield, where we see them being ripped apart by a mysterious monster.
In real, non-monster life, the Time Warner Center offers some of the most amazing views of Central Park in the city. When we visited the Mandarin Oriental hotel on the top floors of the towers, we were awestruck. The floor-to-ceiling bar offers incredible, crystal-clear views onto Columbus Circle and Park Central West, thanks again to Guardian SunGuard Advanced Architectural glasses, used here in Silver and Neutral. Of course, the cocktails ain’t bad either.