Vitro’s Solarban® 72 Starphire® Glass Shines in San Francisco Office Building

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Solarban® 72 Starphire® Glass Curtain Wall and Glass Handrail Balconies Enhance SoMa San Francisco Mid-rise Office Building

San Francisco’s SoMa district is rapidly evolving into a sustainable and transit-oriented community, attracting a young professional demographic. Standing tall among the new wave of buildings is a seven-story mixed-use office complex located at 345 4th Street. The building’s bold, contemporary façade, featuring exterior vertical sunshades framing a high-performance curtain wall, perfectly complements the area’s vibrant vibe. The addition of glass handrail balconies on floors two through six and a floor seven roof terrace further elevate the building’s architectural profile.

To ensure an optimal balance of daylight and view while preventing excessive solar heat gain, Stanton Architecture specified Solarban® 72 Starphire® glass from Vitro Architectural Glass (formerly PPG Glass) for the curtain wall and balcony handrails. The glass modules, used for the façade, comprise 1-inch insulating glass units, with Solarban® 72 Starphire Ultra-Clear® tempered glass on the #2 surface, a ½-inch black spacer, and a ¼-inch Starphire® glass tempered inboard lite. This Solarban® 72 Starphire® glass combination boasts high visible light transmission of 68% and blocks 72% of the sun’s solar rays, with a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.28.

Mike Goldfarb, Vice President of Sales for Glassfab Tempering Services, said, “The product tempers very well, has beautiful aesthetics, and offers high visibility,” praising the Solarban® 72 Starphire® glass’s quality. The glass’s consistency across the building, combined with the verticality of the exterior aluminum sunshades, resulted in a cohesive design. Jeri Jensen, Senior Project Manager at Pacific Glazing Contractors, added that “most of the glass sizes were relatively the same” due to the glass’s uniformity.

The thin glass modules, measuring less than five feet in width and more than 10 ½ feet in height, match the sunshades’ verticality and provide the building with a refined and elegant look. The glass handrail balconies, as well as the horizontal fins on the seventh floor, add definition to the building. For the balcony handrail, laminated tempered glass with Starphire® glass was used, and a handrail trim was added to meet safety codes. All edges were polished flat.

The façade’s other features, including the curtain wall, sunshades, and balconies, are complemented by a 77-foot-tall, 28-foot-wide concrete wall on the west side with an illuminated “345” inset. The building’s east side has a set-back block of blue- and tan-colored metal cladding with a strip of front-facing punched windows. A vegetated terrace and a photovoltaic canopy are located on the roof.

The tenant of the building, WeWork, is enjoying 49,900 square feet of office space, a 2,670 square feet rooftop terrace with views of the city skyline, and 2,670 square feet of ground-floor retail. A newly landscaped alleyway connects 4th Street and the residential Tandang Sora Street, enhancing the building’s accessibility.

To learn more about Solarban® 72 Starphire® glass and the entire line of architectural glasses available from Vitro Glass, visit

Source: Vitro Architectural Glass with additional information added by Apazone

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