Gabriel Loire Windows
World-renowned glass artist Gabriel Loire and his studio Ateliers Loire produced stunningly beautiful walls for the “Jewel Box” an annex to the original Bacardi Building in Miami, Florida in the early 1970’s. The uninterrupted walls of thick glass slugs embedded in epoxy enclose 2 open plan floors of this cube-shaped building, allowing the Florida light to permeate the interior of what was once an office building with a sparking and immersive light which becomes a glowing jeweled box at night when the lights within the building come on.
The National Young Arts Foundation is restoring the building for use as dance and music studios. We were engaged to study the aged epoxy bedded walls, develop a conservation scope and oversee implementation. After research and study, including extensive communications with the Atelier in France, which under the grandson’s direction, a survey was prepared, and a scope of work developed.
Working with Femenella Associates, work was then performed on all window walls based on our recommendations. Each was carefully cleaned using methods that minimized loss of the embedded gravel and toning of the grout, cracks were filled with an innovative use of epoxy injections of different flow rates, and cracked glass were sandwiched with new glass facings. Work was performed under our QC direction. The walls were confirmed to be water tight again after the treatment and the building is now celebrated as a Modernist masterpiece.