First opened in November 1957 when it was considered cutting-edge, the original facade of the 500-foot modern skyscraper was largely inefficient by today’s energy efficiency standards. Using an early version of the semi-uniform curtain wall, the old facade features modules with perforated aluminum panels at the bottom and a single glass panel at the top. This was beneficial for its light weight, but resulted in poor energy efficiency. The project team chose a complete remodel as the best option to upgrade the aging building.
The new facade features the largest single-pane units ever used in an office development in New York City, according to a blog post on KPF.com. These larger parts created efficiencies in construction, logistics and structural details. Panel manufacturers used a single piece, resulting in minimal waste when producing each unit. The panels are located within a four-sided shadow box, running the full width between the columns and the full height between the floors. This approach tripled the window area, bringing abundant daylight to tenants.
Other improvements to the 1.2 million square foot office tower include:
- Mechanical upgrades to high-efficiency heating and air systems that draw in greater volumes of fresh air.
- A reconstructed lobby with modern elevators will support the retail space.
- Many columns and low ceilings were removed from the office floors to increase the interior space.
- Some units offer double-height spaces and interconnecting floors, taking advantage of the building’s wide range of floor plate sizes.
- The designers used the existing massing—a platform and tower punctuated by multiple setbacks—to create outdoor terraces on multiple levels on three sides.
In the team:
Client: Brookfield Properties
Design Engineer (full services): Kohn Pedersen Fuchs (KPF)
MEP Engineer: Cosentini Associates
Structural Engineer: Gilsanz Murray Steveske (GMS)
General Contractor: Turner Construction Company
660 Fifth Avenue, New York City. Photo: Raymond Koch, courtesy KPF