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Article August 31st, 2005 (Glass Processing Days 2005) 1
C. Keith Boswell, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; John R. Walker III, Enclos Corporation
A shadow box is a glass curtain wall design methodology and feature to create an expression of depth and light penetration into glass façade spandrels, column covers and other “opaque” areas where visual depth from the exterior is desired but actual vision through the glass to the interior is either not required or desired. Projects utilizing this design approach usually consist of custom designed assemblies of glass and other finished façade and cladding materials. Therefore the cost of a shadow box is typically higher in cost than a conventional spandrel type glass. Also due to the custom, one-off nature of each design, performance criteria and suggested detail standards can vary significantly from project to project.Factors affecting the design range from the exterior glass assembly (type and kind), shadow box back-up material, solar exposure and orientation, depth of the shadow box cavity and other material and assembly features specific to the particular design. While the glass is a component of the shadow box, this review focuses on the entire assembly using previous project specific experiences. There are few technical research results or standards available in the industry. This paper begins to suggest design standards and checklist considerations for shadow box designs.