Case Western Reserve University Tinkham Veale University Center

Cleveland, Ohio / United States of America

Early in the development of the design for the Case Western Tinkham Veale University Center, the design team observed that the Commons space on the west side of the structure would receive a great deal of direct, western exposure light throughout the year. With the Commons intended for gathering, studying, and lounging, usability and conditioning of the space was key. After exploring several options to control solar heat and light gain, the team determined that a double-skin wall was the best solution.

To optimize performance, multiple configurations of shading were studied for cost-effectiveness, durability, and function. The team also engaged in extensive study and exploration of the airflow through a double-skin cavity to guide the configuration of ventilation components. This work helped the team determine that passive ventilation was not a workable option, and guided the team’s selection of ventilation fan locations, quantities, and capacity as well as the locations and sizes of intake. Ultra-clear, low-iron glass was selected to help the wall achieve the desired degree of transparency, and to provides an opportunity for solar shading outside the conditioned space. The resulting double-skin curtain wall supports the structure, and integrates the building with its surroundings visually and physically. 

Architect of Record


Associate Architect

CBLH Architects


Case Western Reserve University

General Contractor



  • KS Associates
  • Thornton Tomesetti
  • Affiliated Engineers