The Liberty Center

Troy, Michigan

The development of The Liberty Center in Troy, Michigan presented an all-too-familiar challenge: how do you take a straightforward office building and give it a personality? By using Pittsburgh Corning glass block, the architects at Rossetti Associates created a building with both uniqueness and cachet.

The original plan called for two 150,000-square-foot buildings to be constructed in two phases. But the architects suggested imagining the project as one building, interrupted in the center. The result was two distinct structures that stand on their own, yet look as if they were made together.

“We see it as a big rectangle that’s been ‘washed away’ in its center,” said primary architect Algis Bublys, now with Barton Malow Company. In each building, the facing walls are made up entirely of Vue® pattern and Essex® AA Pattern glass block. In addition to creating a graceful and powerful effect, the glass block allows the two building lobbies to relate, as if they were talking to each other.

“We looked at alternative materials,” said Bublys. “Bent glass, for instance, was far more expensive. And clear glass was frankly boring. Glass block made the structure both fluid and mysterious while still admitting light. And the curvilinear nature of glass block was very striking, allowing the architects to make dramatic turns in the wall. The developer was very happy with the effect the glass block provided.”

As well, by using Essex® AA glass block behind the spandrel areas, the architects were able to blank out specific areas of the wall while maintaining a consistent look.

Now complete, The Liberty Center is both an interesting and desirable addition for Troy businesses.