The Alcoa World Headquarters building was designed to encourage communication. Open floor plans help it to easily accommodate the changing needs of the company and its employees. The curve of the facade reflects the adjacent river and the dynamic character of the corporation. Featuring a modern, unitized aluminum and glass curtainwall, the building has open feel achieved by the abundant use of ultra clear Starphire glass.
Much consideration was given to building performance; the project incorporates a very heavy unitized wall with extra thickness in the front flanges of the glass-supporting element to provide acoustic dampening. All glass is cap sealed with silicone on the exterior face to provide superior gasket longevity and water resistance. Interior trim is separated from the main structural elements with thermal isolators that provide a CRF factor of 55–a cutting edge concept for 1998 construction. Sun control is accomplished by the extensive use of sunshades on three elevations. The sunshades are supported by the unitized framing and braced with high strength stainless steel tie rods. A hinged louver above the vision glass adds additional solar load control.