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Perla Restaurant at La Concha Hotel PDF Print

US Glass Magazine Puerto Rico - Perla Restaurant at La Concha Hotel in Puerto RicoPerla at La Concha, a restaurant in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is described by the current owners as “a shining moment in the Tropical Modernism movement’s heyday in Puerto Rico.” Yet for seven years the shell-shaped restaurant sat empty. It wasn’t until 2006 that Marriott purchased the local landmark and made plans to refurbish it as a Renaissance hotel. In their effort to clean the property, the new owners removed the original plate glass from the shell, leaving room for Vista Systems, a Carolina, Puerto Rico-based glazing contractor, to return the pearl-like sparkle to this conch shell by the sea with new, code-compliant lites.

Of course, there were more than a few “curves” thrown in to make this job unique—starting with that iconic design. In fact, “Design was one of the biggest challenges,” says Claudio Reck, president of Vista Systems.

For starters, the building owner approached Reck with a concept for a frameless design without any visual obstructions. Part of the need for clear sightlines is that the glass was intended to blend seamlessly into the reflecting pool that circles the restaurant’s base. “The glass is three or four inches off the ground, so the water is actually inside and outside,” Reck says. 

To achieve this seamless look, the subcontractor decided it would butt-glaze the system. While the how-to was quickly established, the carry-through took a little more time. Finding a fabricator that could meet the product requirements wasn’t simple.

“It took me more than six months to find a temperer,” Reck says. Ultimately, Paragon Architectural products LLC in Scottsdale, Ariz., was brought onboard.

“Our scope included design and engineering of the glass system, as well as fabrication of the glass, SS spiders and associated steel, aluminum and components,” recalls Ian Patlin, managing partner of Paragon Architectural Products. 

The fabricator provided the project with ¾-inch clear tempered, heat-soaked glass, 15-mm fins and Quattro 316 stainless steel spider fittings. 

The difficulty of getting the materials to the site by the sea was eased by the fact that little of the hotel had been constructed, clearing the way for the SkyTrak® forklift to bring in the lites. 

“Because of the weight of the glass we had to spread out the crates in different areas. We couldn’t put them all in one place otherwise we might have caved in the roof where the reflecting pool is,” Reck says. After all, the largest glass panels were close to 600 pounds.

Taken from:
Volume 44, Issue 5 - May 2009
Feature: International Waters
This Project by the Sea Makes Its Mark
by Megan Headley



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