Scaled Transparency


Thomas Phifer and partners have designed a notable curtain wall on the façade of a recently completed office tower at 1099 New York Avenue in Washington, DC. Complex custom curtain wall panels are rare in Washington because of the height restriction to no more than 20 feet taller than the width of the street on which it sits, allowing the Washington Monument to remain the tallest building. This limitation in the vertical dimension of the built volume can typically drive up the per-unit cost of the curtain wall manufacturing process because of the lower sales volume of panel units. Being the first building they have built in the area, the developer, Tishman Speyer Properties’ opted for a sophisticated and challenging solution for their foray on the scene.


The individual pains of insulated glass are each secured to panels of a unitized system. Each panel is tilted off the plane of the wall on two perpendicular axes so that the projecting corner of one pane overlaps the receding corners of adjacent panes.



Photo of construction by

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