Philip Johnson, inspired by his Glass House in New Canaan, CT, designed a new urban glass house with bold, geometric lines and a daring sense of transparency, yet at 93,000sf it is also intimate in scale.
One of the major components was the design of the exterior skin. The 12-story, glass-walled condominium building stands near low-lying industrial buildings, which allows for an abundance of natural light to flow through the 40,000sf of curtainwall. The fašade also has a high fenestration factor and large windows with five panes. The thin grid of column covers and spandrel panels outline the concrete structure beyond. The curtainwall incorporates tall zero-sight line operable casement windows at each bay and an all glass railing system at the stepped terraces. The Urban Glass House’s careful articulation and the terraces at each of the setbacks emphasize the complexity of the cast-in-place concrete structure and offsetting of the columns.
The major issues confronting the team were the care and attention it took to construct the building:
- next to one of the oldest buildings in New York City–the historic landmark Ear Inn, a two-story, 200-year-old timber framed structure
- directly adjacent to a seven-story commercial warehouse constructed in the early 1900s on a pile foundation
- across from the Holland Tunnel’s vent shaft building
During the excavation and foundation phase, our team took great care with both of these other foundations when performing the required underpinning, and coordinated with the Port Authority of NY & NJ regarding sheeting and shoring operations prior to excavation.
Prior to beginning construction, we held several meetings with the owner of the Ear Inn. The team established monitoring (elevation) points on the side of the Inn and in the basement. A licensed surveyor monitored any vertical or horizontal movements and checked the points on a weekly basis. The underpinning process proceeded in a deliberate, methodical manner to ensure the structural stability of the Ear Inn.
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New York Construction Magazine
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