Best View in Chicago Undisturbed by Expansion Joints
Window wall expansion joints, it’s safe to say, are not a tourist attraction. And, it’s hard to argue that one of the best views of Chicago’s magnificent skyline is available to anyone just by strolling out onto Navy Pier. With all there is to see from and at Navy Pier, the casual observer is not likely to wonder about the window wall expansion joints in the Pier’s buildings. In our article “Expansion Joints Are Ugly” we addressed this often received comment from architects by pointing out the most people don’t notice expansion joints at all anyway, but there are some neat ways to hide them from even the most discerning eye. Navy Pier is another case in point.
Patrons come here for the theater, not to look at the expansion joints. Color selection is often all that is needed to eliminate any distraction that an expansion joint might cause.
Here is another close up of the Seismic Colorseal between the mullions of the window wall. A few bugs and spiders have found a place to build. The next window washing will take care of them. Meanwhile the material is still functioning the way it was when first installed 4 years prior to this photograph being taken.
As a rule, people visit a place to appreciate the sights, sounds and attractions that surround it. Except for those of us who can’t see the architecture for the joints, they generally go unnoticed. So better to design them to properly to accommodate expected movements, and seal them with multi-function products that address all of the structures performance needs. Then, with a combination of product features like color selection and clever design, expansion joints can be watertight, trouble-free and hard to see.