Setting the Tone with Glass Building Design

Sponsored by Guardian Glass
By Wendy Brunner

Learning Objectives:

  1. Explain the technical features of the glass slide cantilevered from the side of the U.S. Bank building in Los Angeles.
  2. Describe how designers of 61–67 Oxford Street in London varied the use of wavy glass to meet the needs of diverse building occupants
  3. List several ways glass is used to enhance the natural lighting in the U.S. Courthouse building in Los Angeles.
  4. Relate Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1928 views on glass to modern design applications.


1 AIA LU/Elective
AAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
This course can be self-reported to the AANB, as per their CE Guidelines
AAPEI 1 Structured Learning Hour
MAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
This course can be self-reported to the NLAA.
This course can be self-reported to the NSAA
NWTAA 1 Structured Learning Hour
OAA 1 Learning Hour
SAA 1 Hour of Core Learning
This course can be self-reported to the AIBC, as per their CE Guidelines.
This course is approved as a Structured Course
This course can be self-reported to the AANB, as per their CE Guidelines
Approved for structured learning
Approved for Core Learning
This course can be self-reported to the NLAA
Course may qualify for Learning Hours with NWTAA
Course eligible for OAA Learning Hours
This course is approved as a core course
This course can be self-reported for Learning Units to the Architectural Institute of British Columbia

This course is part of the Glass in Architecture Academy

Below are a set of links to building type studies from Architectural Record, which are in-depth analyses of particular kinds of buildings, with photos, drawings, specifications, detailed descriptions, and design solutions. Click on each link below, read the article then complete the quiz to earn your credit and certificate of completion.

From retail to government to living spaces, this course exposes the many creative ways glass has been used to meet the needs and requirements of a wide range of tenants and building owners. And, in comes cases studies just to provide a little fun.

L.A. Tower Set to Include Glass Slide Thrill Ride
An unusual addition was added to this 1989 I.M. Pei-designed building: a 36-foot-long, fully enclosed glass slide, cantilevered some 1,000 feet above the ground between the building’s 69th and 70th floors.
Carren Jao

Snøhetta Uses Sound-Proof Tempered Glass in Slack Offices
Workplace software developer Slack got an office in Lower Manhattan befitting its reputation as a pioneer of free-flowing, unencumbered intra-office communication.
Ashleigh VanHouten

London's Mixed-Use Building Accommodates Tenants with Wavy Glass Exterior
Allford Hall Monaghan Morris chose a wavy glass wall for the exterior of this mixed-use building that would appear as a single element but deliver different levels of visual and thermal comfort for the various tenants within.
Sharon R. Boone

United States Courthouse, Los Angeles, by SOM
A light-filled civic building in Los Angeles animates and engages a rapidly urbanizing downtown.
Cathleen McGuigan

In the Cause of Architecture, VI: The Meaning of Materials—Glass
An essay from July 1928 by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Qatar National Library by OMA
The Qatar National Library has been called slightly odd, slightly off-putting, but impossible to ignore.
Josephine Minutillo

Setting Tone

Photo ©Bruce Damonte


Guardian Glass Guardian Glass, a major business unit of Guardian Industries, is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of float,coated, and fabricated glass products, offering a range of low-emissivity and interior glass options to meet performance and design requirements.


Originally published in November 2018