5 Manhattan West


450 West 33rd Street

New York, NY

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For Tishman Construction

As PM for the new envelope and building repositioning

Project Team:

Owner: Brookfield Properties

Design Architect: Rex

Architect: Adamson Associates

Construction Manager: Tishman Construction

The existing building was built in the 1960, and it was known as the Skyrink building. Many who were raised in the city used to go to the top of this building to ice skate. The office building, with a panelized precast concrete skin, as reconceived with a lighter façade, which was a significant upgrade to the building itself. The challenge of the restructuring was in dealing with a 20 degree sloped concrete wall. The new pleated façade creates an uninfringed space, readily leasable with continuous views to the exterior. The partially opacified panels offer an integrated shading system, reducing the direct solar gain from the high angle sun. The lower panels receive much lower solar heat gain and cooling loads are reduced by decreasing the reach of direct sun.

The project encompasses a great deal of innovation - unprecedented in New York, where the heavy concrete panels were essentially "peeled" off the building at nighttime, while during the day office workers were conducting their business simply 12' away from the work. For the separation of the work, a specially designed wall system was designed that acted as a temporary exterior barrier between the work area for the new façade and the interior space. In this narrow space, the demolition and installation of the new façade took place.  The new façade, was installed by working during the day. Panels were lifted into place enclosing the new space while work was being conducted just 12' away.  The challenge of the new system design, and especially my role, was to take the design of the architects and make it a realizable reality in the short timespan given: developing all the details, coordinating the façade system construction and integration of the window washing components so that the building can be as beautiful as initially designed.

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