When it was time to transform New Orleans’ historic Barnett’s Furniture store into an Ace Hotel, designers at Eskew+Dumez+Ripple wanted to maintain the 90-year-old building’s original Art Deco façade, but also upgrade the structure’s features to meet modern performance requirements.
Specifiers determined a total window replacement was necessary for the hotel. The project needed multiple solutions, including historic replication, thermal performance, and acoustic control from the busy city street below the hotel’s guest rooms. Most notably, due to the building’s location in a hurricane-prone region, the nine-story structure required windows specifically designed to withstand high winds.
Building professionals selected aluminum-framed windows, designed to replicate the look of steel-framed installations popular in the early 20th century. The windows were designed for a 4.3 kPa (90 psf) wind load, capable of withstanding winds up to 322 km/h (200 mph). They had been impact resistance tested for Missiles D and E (large missile impact [LMI]) and were hurricane-impact tested to meet American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) Certification, as well as under ASTM E1886, Standard Test Method for Performance of Exterior Windows, Curtain Walls, Doors, and Impact Protective Systems Impacted by Missile(s) and Exposed to Cyclic Pressure Differentials, and ASTM E1996, Standard Specification for Performance of Exterior Windows, Curtain Walls, Doors, and Impact Protective Systems Impacted by Windborne Debris in Hurricanes.
To complete the desired, classic aesthetic, specifiers outfitted Ace Hotel’s upper floors with single-hung windows featuring vertical mullions.
Due to the building’s aged walls, installers also created a new strapping system to attach to new vertical studs on the interior. This reinforcement ensured the walls could handle the weight of the heavy, hurricane-resistant laminated glass windows. Additionally, the laminate provides acoustic, solar, and wind protection.