Built in 1927 as a residential hotel for women, the Barbizon was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. After acquiring the property in 2002, Berwind Property Group determined to convert it to luxury condos in 2004, bringing in Cetra/Ruddy as designers and Pavarini McGovern as builders.
The exterior scope of the renovations included re-pointing the brick façade and a full window enlargement program that created elegant floor-to-ceiling views using French casement windows more than six feet high.
By far, the most innovative aspect of Barbizon/63 is its use of cutting-edge technology. Using open standards networking and open communication protocols, the project’s IT consultant converged the network and the building management system onto a single IP network. Every unit in the building has been wired to connect to the network, which manages voice and data communications, digital video surveillance, lighting, HVAC, security card access and home automation. In addition, apartment owners can enjoy amenities including voiceover-IP, wired and wireless broadband access, e-concierge services and customized home automation.
One major challenge for our project team was to perform the construction work around 14 long-term hotel residents who had declined an offer from the developer to vacate their units. The project team relocated most of the residents to apartments on the fourth floor, asking them to vacate their rooms only for window upgrades and the installation of the new HVAC system. The building’s occupied spaces remained functional with HVAC and electricity throughout the core demolition and construction phases.