Helmerich Center for American Research

The mission of the Helmerich Center for American Research is to preserve and promote the art, history, and culture of the Americas. View Smart Windows allow visitors to experience history while connecting them to the very landscape from which a part of that history originated, all while protecting priceless museum artifacts from sun damage.

  • Improves visitor comfort by blocking heat and glare, prolonging visits
  • Preserves artwork and museum artifacts - 99.6% of UV rays blocked
  • Connects visitors to the outdoors with full views of scenic countryside - no blinds or shades
  • Improves ambience and increases natural light
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Architect
    Hastings + Chivetta
  • General Contractor
    Key Construction
  • Glazier
    Apax Glass

The new 25,000 square foot addition is part of Tulsa’s Gilcrease Museum, which houses the most comprehensive collection of art and artifacts of the American West. It is one of the country’s leading facilities involved in the preservation of American art and history. The center hosts visiting faculty and students from around the world and promotes scholarly research. Its gathering spaces provide opportunities for seminars, lectures and exhibitions.

The museum envisioned a space that would offer unobstructed views of the outside and allow ample natural daylight to give the center an airy, open feel. The challenge was to create a picture-perfect transition between the outdoors and the interior, without promoting heat, glare and harmful UV rays that can damage the invaluable historical artifacts on display.

View Smart Windows enclose the north, east and west facades of the facility and automatically adjusts window tint based on sun exposure. Without View Smart Windows, the museum would have needed to install internal roller shades, which would have blocked the inspirational views and created a completely different visitor experience than envisioned by the architect and the museum.

With View Smart Windows installed, the Helmerich Center maintains a connection with the outdoors and creates a bright and welcoming environment—all while reducing solar heat and glare. The superior UV properties of the View Smart Windows block 97–99 percent of UV radiation, helping to shield the facility’s artifacts and furnishings from damage and fading.