The future of folding glass walls is here (and before long, everywhere)
The Gaslamp Quarter is on of San Diego's main entertainment and tourist attractions. It was settled in the 1860s, as a way to connect the city to the marina. Unfortunately, many of the 94 historic buildings became mired in urban decay. Around the 1990s this began to change with the legendary revitalization that also spread to nearby sections of downtown San Diego, including the up and coming East Village, with its startling Hotel Indigo.
Joseph Wong Design Associates (JWDA) designed this steel and glass hotel to appeal to travelers tired of bland “beige box” hotels. JWDA were faced with another design problem: how to integrate the hotel into urban fabric but maintain the outdoor aesthetic of San Diego. One solution was the installation of operable glass wall systems in two different locations.
Promoting the Indoor/Outdoor Hospitality Experience
“JWDA used a series of NanaWalls on the most important corner of the Hotel Indigo to blur the line between interior and exterior, guiding San Diego breezes into the space,” stated Albert Miller, LEED and AP, of JWDA. “Using the NanaWall as a window system instead of a door system controls access to the space, while allowing it to feel completely open. The second NanaWall located at the 9th floor Phi-Terrace Room allows the entire room to open onto the roof deck, promoting views overlooking PETCO Park, the bay and all downtown San Diego .”
Maximizing the Perception of Space
Joseph Wong founder JWDA explained why his firm chose NanaWall instead of a competitor in these spaces.“The simple answer is that the spaces stretch over a very big span; we wanted to open up the whole space. Sliding doors are not completely open and with other folding door options you need more space to slide the doors back. NanaWall minimizes the footprint when retracted. Furthermore, it maximizes the psychological perception of the span .”
“The NanaWall located at the 9th floor allows the entire room to open onto the roof deck, promoting views overlooking PETCO Park, the bay and all downtown San Diego.”
JWDA was founded in 1977 and hospitality architecture represents 80% of their work. They have completed many waterfront projects in San Diego but their reach has stretched as far as Korea and China. The twelve story Hotel Indigo resides in the East Village section and opened in the summer of 2009. “The vision was about having a nice addition to a neighborhood that is really transforming,” stated Wong of JWDA.
Natural Ventilation and Light
The first LEED certified hotel in San Diego, Indigo has many green features. The 9th and 12th floor roofs are covered in sedum, and the 9th floor Phi Bar Terrace deck uses Moisture-Shield composite decking made from recycled polyethylene plastic and wood fibers. Moreover, the bar terrace has floor-to-ceiling SL70 NanaWall systems, which allow for natural ventilation and light. The Phi Bar Terrace overlooks nearby PETCO Field and one can see the nearby marina.
The InterContinental Hotel Group owns the Indigo Hotel, and the basis of their brand design is Fibonacci sequence and the Golden Mean. Similar imagery can be found on “Indigo Waters”, the 40-foot wall sculpture on the curved wall of the façade. On a smaller scale, the imagery was deployed on chair backs, floor patterns, light fixtures and even on the Phi Bar terrace metalwork.
The SL45 Window Wall in a Restaurant Setting
The first floor Table 509 Bar and Restaurant also utilized a NanaWall corner system. The SL45 windows retract, bringing in the excitement of Island and 9th Avenues and the bordering Gaslamp Quarter. Because NanaWalls have excellent sound attenuation, the windows can be closed and secure privacy for the interior spaces.
NanaWalls can be custom designed for large openings, which can be seen on the 1st and 9th floor systems. The elegant, precision engineered NanaWall meets the most challenging architectural specifications. The custom made NanaWall is available in aluminum, wood or clad frames with a selection of over two hundred colors. Independent testing confirms that many NanaWall systems meet or exceed industry standards for air infiltration, water penetration, thermal performance, forced entry, acoustic and hurricane requirements.
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“This flexibility allows teachers to gain access to shared resources and adapt space for small and large groups as well as project-based learning activities.”
— Stuart Brodsky, Architect