Seeing the Future Clearly
The Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking (Tsai CITY) at Yale University inspires students from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to seek innovative solutions to real-world problems. The center launched in 2017 to bring programming, funding, and mentoring to students across the Yale campus.
Tsai CITY fosters interdisciplinary collaboration, inclusivity across all dimensions of diversity, skills and practices of effective action, and resilience. Those foundational pillars inspired architects to design a space that would drive those outcomes in Yale’s innovation corridor.
The modern, 12,500-square-foot elliptical-shaped building includes a flexible workspace, meeting rooms, and communal areas for events and talks.
When it came time to create the dual entrances to this modern glass structure, architects relied on the expertise of Metalwërks to fashion a customized solution that would stand the test of time and ensure the building stood out.
Surrounded by historic buildings on Yale’s campus, Tsai CITY makes a statement with a large glass curtain wall and invites the rest of the university to engage with the center. Two stories of curving glass allow light to fall through the building into lower-level teaching labs.
To showcase the scalloped glass curtain wall, architects chose Metalwërks Ameriplate Spline with a three-coat metallic finish for entrance portals on the east and west ends of the oval.
Metalwërks performed laser cuts to the aluminum panels to match the alternating concave/convex profile of the glass panels, using edge floats and ensuring there were no end returns or rounded corners. The smooth, large-scale panels deliver a clean, seamless look that enhances the overall appearance of the structure and ensures that the glass walls remain the signature feature. Each Ameriplate Spline panel is uniquely sized to seamlessly match the tapered walls and sloped soffit that filter people into the space. Metalwërks fabricated the panels so that their orientation matched the building plane, creating natural leading lines for people entering the building.
The Metalwerks Ameriplate panel system features concealed attachment hardware with leading lines that creates a floating panel effect. They are highly dent-resistant, making them ideal for high-traffic pedestrian areas. The panels are 100% recyclable with a high percentage of post-consumer and industrial content, contributing to LEED credits.
A New Chapter in Innovation
Construction began in 2019 and lasted for 18 months. Tsai CITY was completed in August 2020. The building and surrounding plaza renovation are awaiting LEED Gold certification.