FAQ About the Pavilion

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Q:  How many glass panels are in the Pavilion?

A:  376 panels. Each segment is made of two 3/8-inch panels laminated together for a total thickness of ¾ inch.

Q:  Do the glass blowing furnaces run continuously?

A:  The furnaces that actually melt glass into its molten form run continuously. They are turned off only for maintenance purposes.

Q:  How hot do the glass furnaces get?

A:  2200-2400°F.

Q:  How do you keep the glass blowing facilities cool while keeping the galleries and other spaces warm?

A:  There are several methods in place to ensure that the furnace heat does not affect the rest of the building.  First, a hood is located around the furnaces to direct most of the heat out through the roof. Airflow through the hood captures and exhausts the heat. The glass blowing studios are also equipped with heat recovery coils embedded in the floors that absorb heat from the furnaces and return it to the radiant heating system within the building cavities. Finally, conditioned air from the galleries is directed into the hot shops to help control temperatures. The space between the panels of glass acts as an effective insulator.

Q:  With an all-glass building, how do you keep the windows clean?

A:  Other buildings with primarily glass facades generally need to be cleaned twice a year. At the Glass Pavilion, this can be accomplished by simply using a squeegee and cleaning solution; a relatively uncomplicated process because the building is only 15 feet tall.  Interior glass surfaces are also cleaned whenever necessary; the process is no more difficult than washing glass doors or windows in a standard house.

Q:  Aren’t some of the items in the Museum’s glass collection sensitive to light?  What is being done about preservation of these items?

A:  A shading system is installed in the building that uses light-screening curtains that result in the reduction of light in needed areas. Due to the patterns followed by sunlight throughout the year, these curtains need to be adjusted only seasonally.

Q:  Is there a special UV coating applied to the glass?

A:  No.  The laminate layer between the two glass panels serves as a UV filter, so an additional UV coating of the structural glass is not necessary.

Q:  In most buildings, electrical wiring and HVAC ducts run through the walls, but none of those are visible in the Glass Pavilion.  Where are they?

A:  The Glass Pavilion wiring and HVAC ducts are routed through the floors and ceiling of the building, as well as within the opaque dry-walled sections of the first floor. The basement-level systems are installed using standard construction methods. The physical plant is housed in the Pavilion basement and in a building nearby.

Q:  The building has a flat roof—what happens if this area gets a heavy snowfall?

A:  The roof of the building was specifically designed to accommodate heavy rain and snowfall. Although the roof appears flat, it is actually a series of inverted pyramids. Each directs water to a drainpipe, which in turn directs the water into the building’s main drainage system.