The Client

The Smithsonian Museum, Arts and Industries Building

The Opportunity

During their extensive refurbishment they were looking for a product that would resemble the milky white windows of the original building design but with the added benefit of delivering solar control, to prevent damaging UV rays from reaching the precious artefacts inside.

The Solution

When the Smith Group JJR (Detroit) were approached by The Smithsonian Museum, to supply a specialist glass installation for the Arts and Industries building, they recommended Contra Vision® Laminated Glass. The solution delivered a 99.5% block of UV solar radiation to minimise colour fading and other damage to the artefacts inside. The solution was preferred to mirrored effects which would be incongruous with the traditional look of the 1881 US National Museum building. It also offers good see-through and daylight on the inside of the building, creating a more natural environment compared with having blinds or curtains covering the windows at all times. 

The Contra Vision®  Printed Interlayer was printed using a patented process to achieve exact registration. This enables a layer of white dots to be printed exactly on top of a layer of black dots (with no overlap). The black dots face inside and do not interfere significantly with the see-through. The white dots are visible from the outside and attract the eye because light is reflected off them, providing privacy and a visual likeness to the original windows.

This unique glass product delivers exceptional one-way vision with significant environmental benefits including solar heat, UV and glare reduction, acoustic reduction and impact resistance (ASTM safety standards). The printing technique offers stunning design capabilities ranging from single colours (including specialist metallic pigments) through to photographic reproductions.