Simons Centre, New York

VS-1 delivered remarkable aesthetics and design complexity for a new educational building at Stony Brook University

A striking new educational building in New York was achieved thanks to VS-1, a new type of curtain walling. Its ability to deliver complex façade designs without compromise gave the project architects total confidence to unleash their creative flair to deliver a statement building worthy of the cutting edge thinking and research it hosts.


The Simons Center for Geometry and Physics is a centre for theoretical physics and mathematics at Stony Brook University in New York.

It comprises two buildings: the brick “bar” on the north side relates architecturally to the existing buildings adjacent to the site while a modern curved glass structure on the south side creates a more open mass and main façade of the Center. These are linked by a glazed bridge that promotes collaboration and interaction.


The VS-1 mullion-only curtain walling system was used in the construction of the glass structures. The innovative design and integral strength of the VS-1 system allowed for the simple integration of a cantilevered aluminium canopy as well as a louvre solar shading system without the need for extra bulky reinforcement.

The horizontal sun-shade louvre system that includes a maintenance catwalk allows more sun to permeate the interior during the winter months and less exposure in the summer months. This sustainable approach was integral to the project, which achieved LEED gold rating from the US Green Building Council. The VS-1 mullion assembly supports the entire exterior shading system and helps to ensure the glass façade on the south side maximises sun control while maintaining views.

For maximum impact VS-1 can provide unbroken vertical sightlines of up to 8m with a single pane of glass. The triple height meeting space of the Simons Center is flush glazed with VS-1 mullions notched around the cantilevered building structure. Details such as these enable the exterior glass pane at the front of the structure to appear to “float”.

Short sections of VS-1 mullion cantilever beyond the parapet of a green roof to support clear monolithic balustrade glass. The glass is supported by pinch plate fittings and aligned to maintain a flush and stylish finish to the exterior façade.


VS-1 - Curtain Walling

VS-1 is a new type of curtain wall – a mullion only system where the glass is held away from the mullion so the glass wall visually ‘floats’

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