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Glass curtainwall gives great transparency

Projects | August 1, 2016 | By:

Maintenance-free mesh provides transparency and safety for the glass curtainwall stair tower at the UCLA School of Medicine. Photo: Banker Wire.

The UCLA School of Medicine’s South Tower building is undergoing a major renovation to convert nine of the former hospital’s 12 floors into a research lab. Known as the South Tower Seismic Renovation project, the four-phase initiative includes reinforcing the building’s structure, making interior improvements and exterior upgrades to comply with new energy requirements, all without compromising the structure’s architectural integrity.

For the exterior, project architect ZGF Architects LLP, Portland, Ore., designed a new glass curtainwall for the stair tower. The goal was to make it feel open and airy without compromising structural integrity. ZGF called on Banker Wire, a Mukwonago, Wis., manufacturer of woven and welded wire mesh, to create a custom woven wire mesh pattern for use as railing infill in the tower.

Photo: Banker Wire.
Photo: Banker Wire

Banker Wire began by developing tooling to create a pattern that would complement the glass curtainwall, creating a new mesh pattern (M55Z-2) that consists of a rectangular five-wire-repeat infill with a high percent open area. It features long, straight sections of wire interrupted by a smooth and gentle crimp. The pattern offers transparency while providing needed structure.

The tower’s glazed glass curtainwalls facilitate natural ventilation with the help of louvers and soffits, saving on energy costs. The constant breeze creates the potential for wind-driven rain or humid air. Banker Wire’s maintenance-free mesh resists these conditions, maintaining its pristine
look indefinitely. For more information, visit

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