12.10. Curtain Wall Systems

Description: The details shown in this plate are from the Seagram Building in New York City, completed in 1957. They represent the methods used in the bronze and glass curtain wall system. The bronze mullions run the full height of the building. Brown-colored plate glass spans between the mullions, and 1/8" thick muntz metal spandrel panels are used at each floor slab. The result is a very uniform color among the exterior materials.

These details demonstrate the approach used to construct a copper alloy curtain wall in a historically significant building. Today's standards would require a higher level of moisture and thermal control. Modern construction methods and materials would certainly improve the moisture and thermal control of the exterior skin.

Substrate: This system supports itself from floor slab to floor slab. No substrate is required.

Fastening Method: Steel brackets are used at every floor slab.

12.10A. Typical Elevation

This diagrammatic elevation shows the relationship of the various curtain wall components to the floor slabs, and indicates the locations of Sections 12.10B and 12.10C.

DWG iconDownload CAD File technical detail

12.10B. Section At Horizontal Joint

The muntz metal spandrel panels are used to conceal the floor slab and spandrel beam at each floor. Expansion joints in the bronze mullions are required to accommodate vertical movement.

DWG iconDownload CAD File technical detail

12.10C. Section At Vertical Joint

This section shows two different conditions. The left side is cut through the spandrel panel. The steel structure is used to support the curtain wall at every floor slab. The bronze Tee-bar is bolted to the steel angles. The Tee-bar is plug welded to the continuous bronze mullions.

DWG iconDownload CAD File technical detail

The right side of the detail shows the condition at the window. A muntz metal panel is used to cover the inside face of the curtain wall.

In both cases, the spandrel panels and glass are held by extruded bronze frames.

12.10D. Isometric View

This detail shows how the structural steel bracket and angles hold the bronze Tee-bar, and their relationship to the bronze mullion.

DWG iconDownload CAD File technical detail