Harnessing Pyramid Power: The Best Hotel in America's Transformation with Folding Glass Walls

By NanaWall Systems, January 24, 2024

Folding Glass Walls

In the vibrant heart of Memphis, sits the iconic Memphis Pyramid Hotel. It has recently undergone a revolutionary transformation, emerging as a beacon of modern architecture and tourist adoration. The key to this transformation? The innovatively engineered and commercially rated folding glass walls, that open at the top of the structure, which help define the buildings’ functionality and aesthetic grandeur. Recently named "The Best Hotel in America" by Dwell Magazine, this architectural gem has transcended its previous identity as an outdated sports and concert venue to emerge as a paragon of design.

NanaWall folding glass wall systems

Story of the Great Memphis Pyramid

Also known to locals as the Great American Pyramid, this unique building sits directly on the Mississippi River in downtown Memphis, Tennessee. One of the largest pyramids in the world, it stands at 321 feet from base to top (about 32 stories), has 103 rooms, as well as the country’s tallest free-standing elevator. In 1991, it originally was a sports and entertainment venue, including basketball tournaments, concerts, boxing events, and more. Today, it is an iconic tourist destination and home to the legendary Bass Pro Shops, a world-class hotel, The Lookout restaurant, shopping, a bowling alley, and an archery range, with an indoor-outdoor observation deck with opening glass walls adjacent to its apex.

aluminum framed folding glass walls at the lookout restaurant

The Lookout Restaurant - Culinary Elegance Meets Panoramic Splendor

At the pinnacle of the hotel, The Lookout restaurant offers more than just a dining experience; it's a journey into sensory delight. With opening clear-glass walls, and glass balconies, diners enjoy a 360-degree embrace of Memphis's skyline accompanied by delicious Southern cuisine. The highlights are the two stunning observation decks that jut out over the edge, and, upon ascent, visitors are instantly drawn to the opening glass walls and views beyond. One observation deck faces towards downtown Memphis, while the other looks out over the Mississippi River in Memphis. This innovative design using commercially rated folding glass walls at the highest point of the structure, helps mark The Lookout as a premiere dining space where culinary artistry and architectural innovation come together perfectly.

performace-driven folding glass wall systems

Heritage Through Design - Blending Memphis History with Modernity

This building design doesn't just alter the skyline; it resonates with Memphis's rich cultural tapestry, paying homage to its musical legacy and its storied riverfront history. This hotel transformation is a narrative of respect and revival from its interior design elements to its exterior façade with folding glass walls. The Pyramid honors Memphis's rich cultural heritage mirroring its musical roots and significant historical milestones, and the open concept design echoes the city's story. A perfect aesthetic that blends a respectful nod to history, intertwined with modern design.

NanaWall folding glass doors

Sustainability and Performance - Building a Future-Forward Legacy with Folding Glass Walls

More than just an iconic sight, the structure exemplifies sustainable and safe architectural design. Incorporating commercially performing energy-efficient systems and eco-friendly materials, it stands as a testament to modern and sustainable practices. These commercially rated and independently tested SL70 folding glass walls contribute significantly to this ethos. This system is engineered to reach heights of up to 12′ (3650 mm) tall and is specifically designed to solve architectural challenges and for demanding commercial applications of epic proportions. These systems perform when closed in virtually all climates. Able to withstand wind and weather, they perform in even the most extreme environments. Even during chilly days, the views through the folding panels remain breathtaking, ensuring that patrons enjoy uninterrupted comfort, even when seated right next to the folding glass walls.

view from Lookout Restaurant folding glass walls

Photo Big Cypress Lodge

Final Thoughts

As a culinary haven and an architectural marvel, The Pyramid stands as a vibrant landmark and symbol of Memphis's evolution. A beacon of visionary design and sustainability. This blend of breathtaking views and sustainable design is why Dwell Magazine's recognition of ‘Best Hotel in America’ is well-deserved. The Memphis Pyramid, with The Lookout at its crown designed with folding glass walls, is more than a structure—it's a narrative of transformation, innovation, and the endless possibilities of architectural ambition. Memphis has gained not just a landmark but a visionary design, further positioning the city as a hub for modern architecture and a testament to the endless possibilities of urban redevelopment.

Visit our commercial inspiration gallery to see more projects designed with NanaWall or contact us to get a quote today!