In what turned out to be his last residential commission, the late Philip Johnson and his partner, Alan Ritchie, designed the Urban Glass House, a 12-story, totally glass condo building that was meant to serve as the urban counterpart to Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut.
Pavarini McGovern was selected to build the striking 93,000sf structure, which has bold geometric lines and a daring sense of transparency. One of the major focus areas of the project team was the design of the exterior skin. The team spent a considerable amount of time on the proportions, detailing and color selections for the window elements and fascias. The façades have a high fenestration factor, and the large square windows have five panes. The curtain wall also 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.
A major construction issue confronting the team was the careful attention it took to construct the building next to several important structures, including one of the oldest buildings in New York City – the historic Ear Inn, a two-story, 200-year-old timber-framed structure. In addition, directly adjacent to the project site is a seven-story commercial warehouse constructed in the early 1900s on a pile foundation. During the excavation and foundation phase, our team took great care with both of these foundations when performing the required underpinning. Due to the building’s proximity to the Holland Tunnel’s vent shaft building, our preconstruction team also coordinated with the Port Authority of NY and NJ regarding sheeting and shoring operations prior to excavation.
Spring Washington, LLC
330 Spring Street, New York, NY