st cloud library

Complex design, intricate multi-planed wall system, multiple radii curtainwall, asymmetrical clerestory windows, and irregularly sloped roof-to-glass connections made the St. Cloud Library a unique and challenging architectural glass and metal project.

St. Cloud Library-ExteriorEmpirehouse teamed with W. Gohman Construction and Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd. on the St. Cloud Library project. While the curtainwall specified utilizes a standardized framing system, the design called for unique flared radius walls, extended wings, multiple roof slopes, and oversized glass lites reaching 56” x 163” and weighing over 500 pounds each. This made both the metal fabrication and glazing installation complex and challenging.

Five different types of glass coatings and colors further complicated the work. Empirehouse developed a solid coordination and pre-planning strategy to ensure that glass was correctly ordered and installed in the right location.

Adding to the difficulty, all of the exterior glass curtainwall openings were “virtually” measured before physical openings were completed. When the structure was ready to accept our materials, all the frames fit perfectly.

Humidity control was an important factor for this library project. Empirehouse provided numerous ties to the air barrier system to create humidity balance. In addition, the glass wall system accommodated a 1-1/2” deflection in the head of the frame while maintaining air barrier flexibility.

The interior glass scope proved to be just as challenging as the exterior glass scope. The interior was filled with rooms within rooms of all-glass walls; mullion-less, butt-glazed, floor-to-ceiling glass room separators; all-glass stair railings; all-glass elevator enclosures, and all-glass doors.

The architect’s design intent became a perfect marriage of energy efficiency with transparency. The low-E fritted glass throughout allowed for a high degree of transparency looking out and into the library and provided internal spaces with generous daylighting.

For your next project, contact a certified NACC architectural glass and metal contractor for quality results. Call Empirehouse at 763-535-1150 or visit

St. Cloud Public Library
Location: St. Cloud, MN
Contractor: W. Gohman Construction
Architect: Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle, Ltd. Architects
Glazing Contractor: Empirehouse, Inc.
Completed: 2009

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