50 years ago, the Hyatt Regency was the tallest tower in Atlanta, standing at 22 stories. This property was also one of the first hotels of its kind with a 22-story vaulted atrium to a daylit roof.
The infamous 60’ diameter, blue acrylic Polaris dome atop a revolving restaurant was showing its age – turning white and cloudy. As was the monumental 30’ diameter atrium skylight and the hundreds of unit skylights (bubbles) along the roof.
W.S. Nielsen’s renovation department had solutions for getting the Hyatt ready for the next 50 years. We shifted from acrylic to glass for the atrium dome and Polaris. No more cracking, crazing and leaks.
One of the biggest challenges was manufacturing the ‘right’ shade of blue. The blue dome has been featured on almost every Atlanta postcard and we new it was important to both the Hyatt, but also to the city of Atlanta. We manufactured a lightbox with 12 shades of backlit blue glass. The votes were cast and the winning blue was fabricated.
Working on the roof of a 22-story building in a downtown environment is challenging. We could not use a crane because of access, so we installed a temporary buck hoist elevator and then a mechanical hoist to get to the top of the Polaris. As we removed the old blue dome and skylights, we lowered them to the ground and then brought up the new glass systems and bubbles and meticulously and safely did the installation (over a live job site).