GBCA Facade Replacement
The General Building Contractors Association (GBCA) makes its home in the 1961 former James W. Baird Savings & Loan Association Building on 18th Street in Center City, from which it provides advocacy, networking, safety, education, and training to more than 250 member contracting companies.
At the time it was built, the Baird Building demonstrated innovative design techniques, including a clear-span, waffle-slab concrete structure and a curtain wall with glass butt-glazed directly to the concrete. However, after 50+ years, the facade was beginning to show its age. BKP was engaged by GBCA to replace the system.
BKP’s design for the curtain wall replacement began with an eye toward energy efficiency and took inspiration from midcentury and modern glass box architecture, including the Apple stores. The architectural team wanted today’s solution to be as cutting-edge as the original design.
An aluminum-framed curtain wall was selected with butt-glazed insulated glass in oversize pieces. The system lacks vertical mullions for transparency to the GBCA lobby on the first floor and boardroom on the second floor. Passers-by have direct views to the classic midcentury interior aesthetic of polished marble floors and oak-paneled walls. Viracon spandrel glass covers the waffle slab intersections. The four-sided spandrel glass is etched with a silkscreen pattern on each side. The street-facing side features an etched GBCA logo for dramatic branding.
1,000 sf facade