In my last post, I discussed Barry Diller's surprisingly crucial role in Gehry's abandonment of titanium panels in favor of glass cladding for the IAC Building, NY. At the time, Diller's demands seemed more than a little crazy. The obvious problem was that glass had always been too brittle to gracefully clad an undulating facade. The go-to solution was to cut glass panels into narrow facets to be fit together as elegantly as workers' technique permitted. And, in fact. Gehry did propose that solution, but was again rebuffed by Diller. ("What are all these lines in the glass?", he is reported to have said.) Back at their drawing board, Gehry's technical team worked with the firm Permasteelisa to solve the problem by adopting the cold-press process, which permits very large glass panels to be gently bent into the shapes required. This was done on-site & at room temperature & the results are surely as sleek as Diller could have wished. My research hasn't determined if this is indeed the first use of the process for a full facade (please see my note under comments) but the literature breezily assumes that it is & it remains the poster child for its architectural use to this day. But Diller's influence extends yet further into the building's design, & I'll attend to that in my next post.
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