• Panelite ClearShade Exterior Glazing Retrofit Hutchinson Gymnasium Infill U Penn Crawford Architects 4


ARCHITECT Crawford Architects, Kansas City MO
MEP&F ENGINEERS AHA Consulting Engineers (Cambridge, MA)
CONSTRUCTION MANAGER P. Agnes, Inc. (website link)
INSTALLER Glazing Concepts
PHOTOGRAPHY James Pastine, Crawford Architects
LOCATION Philadelphia, PA
PANELITE PRODUCT ClearShade IGU CS-TC7-1020-1000

“In replacing the original translucent textured and wired safety glass, Panelite solved all four major issues that needed to be addressed in the renovation of the Hutchinson Gymnasium (now the Tse Ping & Cheng Cheung Ling Sportscenter) at the University of Pennsylvania: natural light, visibility to the exterior, insulation and sun control while simulating the original historic appearance. If the original architect Charles Klauder had Panelite available to him in the 1920’s, we suspect he would have used it in the design of the original Hutchinson Gymnasium Building.”

James Pastine, Crawford Architects

Crawford Architects specified 1700sf of ClearShade honeycomb glazing units in a retrofit application at the Tse Ping & Cheng Cheung Ling Sports Center at Hutchinson Gymnasium, University of Pennsylvania. The Gymnasium is connected to the school’s historic Palestra, often called the Cathedral of College Basketball.

Both the Hutchinson Gym and the Palestra had original windows dating from the late 1920s – single pane, etched, wire pebble glass, which did not provide the energy-efficiency, daylighting and views required for a modern athletic facility. Crawford Architects sought to replace the original window glass with a retrofit solution that would meet those goals while maintaining the historic character of the buildings.


  • Aesthetics: Replace original single pane 1/4″ wire pebble glass windows from the 1920s with a retrofit glazing solution that integrates with the historic character of the buildings and maintains the original glass’ quality of texture and depth.
  • Performance: Improve the windows’ energy-efficiency, daylighting performance and allow views out towards the campus.
  • Installation: Provide a retrofit solution that can be easily installed into the existing curved openings in the brick building facade.

Panelite provided a variety of ClearShade options for evaluation, including clear honeycomb inserts, white honeycomb inserts, clear glass, low-e glass and acid-etched glass. Crawford Architects evaluated the aesthetics with sample units on site and AHA Consulting Engineers ran energy models. The architects specified CS-TC7-1020-1000 insulating glass units with clear polymer honeycomb and Sungate 500 low-e coating (surface #2) to achieve their energy-efficiency, daylighting, visibility and aesthetic goals.
Panelite Solution

  • ClearShade CS-TC7-1020-1000 insulating glass units with clear polymer honeycomb and Sungate 500 low-e coating (surface #2) met the architect and the University’s goals for improved performance while integrating with the building’s historic fabric.
  • The cellular honeycomb structure has a neutral yet textured appearance that relates to the original glass, but that optimizes performance.
  • Since ClearShade units provide integrated shading, they offer an excellent solution for retrofit projects where add-on elements such as exterior louvers or interior shades would compromise the historic character of the building as well as increasing installation and ongoing maintenance costs.
  • ClearShade provides directional transparency, allowing views to the campus without the monolithic appearance of a typical clear insulating glass unit.
  • ClearShade honeycomb inserts were CNC-machined to match the exact dimensions of the curved openings and the insulating glass units were smoothly retrofit and sealed with silicone.

ClearShade: More Light, Better Light, Less Heat
MORE LIGHT. ClearShade™ provides up to 70% light transmission depending on the insert and glass types specified; few energy performance glazing solutions maintain such high levels of natural daylight while controlling solar heat.

BETTER LIGHT. ClearShade diffuses light rays, eliminating glare and improving user comfort and productivity.

LESS HEAT. While most building envelope solutions favor daylighting or solar heat control at the expense of the other, ClearShade addresses both, with a 75% improvement in solar heat gain control over standard IGUs, with Solar Heat Gain Coefficients as low as 0.11 at midday to reduce HVAC requirements and improve energy efficiency.

Other projects using ClearShade CS-TC7
Champaign Library, Champaign IL, Ross Barney Architects – Curtainwall Facade Panels

INV Management, Fort Lee, NJ, Gluckman Mayner Architects – Curtainwall Facade Panels

Burnsville Performing Arts Center, Burnsville MN, Ankeny Kell Architects – Backlit LED Feature Walls