Solarban® 90, Starphire® Glasses Transform 60-Year-Old Bank Building into Dallas Icon

Named one of the top ten buildings in Dallas by Dallas Morning News architecture critic Mark Lamster, 1217 Main Street – once a 1950s bank building – has been transformed into a mixed-use architectural gem in downtown Dallas. Designed by 5G Studio Collaborative, Dallas, the adaptive reuse marvel features a colorful, handcrafted ceramic rim that artistically frames a storefront on the ground floor and a four-story curtain wall system with Solarban® 90 Starphire® glass from Vitro Architectural Glass.

Josh Allen, partner at 5G Studio Collaborative, said it was crucial that the six-color blue mosaic facade designed by noted artist and sculptor Jorge Pardo is paired with the right glass system. “Numerous options were considered and, upon examination, all combined with the artistic tile of the building. Solarban® 90 Starphire® [glass] was chosen for its clarity, reflection and lack of color, ”he explained.

Starphire Ultra-Clear® low iron glass offers industry leading clarity, while Solarban® 90 glass offers high performance sun protection. Combined in a standard 1-inch IGU, they block 77% of the sun’s heat and achieve a crystal clear aesthetic with a visible light transmission (VLT) of 54%. “This enabled us to provide a building that is both enticing and efficient,” added Allen.

In addition to the seamless aesthetics, the individual ceramic tiles are held together without any visible control or expansion joints, panel or module seams. “To achieve this, a bespoke rain protection system was developed, which is a grid of vertical and horizontal T-shaped aluminum profiles that support the 36,215 glazed ceramic tiles,” explains Allen.

The original Guardian Savings Bank from 1958 survived two fires in the past few decades. While retaining the core and shell of the historic building, the planning team transformed the dilapidated structure into an urban revitalization success. Through the floor-to-ceiling Solarban® 90 Starphire® glass, passers-by can watch the hustle and bustle in the bakery, café and cafeteria on the ground floor and on the upper four office levels. There are also external balconies on the upper floor.

As an impressive blend of art and architecture, Allen is pleased to report that the project has achieved its intended vision and has become an icon in downtown Dallas with its unique design.

As the winner of an Architect’s Newspaper’s Best of Design award for building renovation, the magazine stated, “1217 Main Street has become a new landmark and acts as a gateway to Dallas’ s revitalized Main Street.”

For more information on Solarban® 90 Starphire® glass and the rest of Vitro Glass’ full range of architectural glass, please visit or call 1-855-VTRO-GLS (887-6457).