Overview - Matt Goodwill, WAN technical features
The use of glass in the 15 Union Square West regeneration was key in the architect's plan to expose the existing structure. The original cast iron structure presented large irregular openings that the architects were keen to exploit, creating spaces within that had ceiling heights of up to five metres. The architect wanted to create an uninterrupted view of the cast iron arches from the outside, creating the problem of finding glazing that was tall enough to span the full height of the arches.
The product utilised in the solution was the innovative Glass XL - XtraLong Glass which enabled the architects to incorporate a facade that used glass to frame every original arch, beautifully showcasing the historic fabric within the new and modern building.
Detail - The Glazing Solution, Roger Watson, XXLGLASS Saint-Gobain
With the building having an old and crafted structure, the new architectural lines had to follow on the outside. This meant an incredible amount of site measurement and individual dimensioning of the glass. When you consider this is just a 7 storey building and it has over 700 different sizes of glass unit, you can maybe appreciate the complexity of the logistics and production organisation that was required.
Sections of the building were measured, designed and then released for production. Normally, most building are designed well ahead of delivery schedules, but we were on a piecemeal basis.. as soon as sufficient glass dimension were established we were released to produce.. one batch after the other.. not knowing exactly when we could produce nor what sizes and amounts.
The unit sizes ranged from 15 x 40"(381mm x 1016mm) to 78 x 221"(1981mm x 5613mm ) and almost every dimension in between. There were hardly any repetitions in sizes and units were ordered in a mixed bag. Cutting and processing optimisation were a critical factor - not only to achieve the tight schedule but also to make the project an economical one.
Stacking, handling, machining, coating and finally packing the myriad of different sizes was a nightmare..
But with careful programming and production management we managed to survive with only a few scathes..
Even with the huge insulating units, if one takes a careful look at the facade, the reflections are almost perfect - the surface quality of the glass (planimetry) is second to none.
The substrate used was Saint-Gobain Glass Diamant low-iron - for both the inner and outer lite.
The outer lite is 12mm thick Heat Strengthened with Sunex 50/25 solar control low-e coating and the inner lite is 10mm Fully Tempered Stainless steel spacers and Argon gas were used to keep the thermal performance well below code and building performance requirements.
The overall appearance of the glass is very crisp with a neutral colour. At the lower levels it sometimes looks black, but this is due to the background inside the facade. It is really only at the upper levels that one can see the fantastic clarity of the units and the amazing views that they afford the occupants.
Project Name: 15 Union Square West
Location: New York, NY
Project Size: 62,000 SF
Project Features: 36 Residential Units with Private Terraces
Owner: Brack Capital Real Estate
Architectural Designer: ODA - Architecture P.C.
Architect of Record: Perkins Eastman Architects P.C.