Invisible curtain

Date: 12 October 2016
The floor-to-ceiling and highly transparent glazing creates a flowing transition.
Photo source
The floor-to-ceiling and highly transparent glazing creates a flowing transition | Photo: Kevin Chu & Jessica Paul Photography
Glas Trösch helps create a light-flooded lobby in Manhattan

Designed to be bright and inviting, the new lobby of 1221 Avenue of the Americas in New York creates a flowing transition between interior and exterior.

The key factor in the successful renovation is the large, two-story high glass façade of the building entry which offers maximum transparency and light transmittance thanks to the use of SILVERSTAR EN2plus from Glas Trösch.


New face for skyscraper

With 50 floors above grade, the office building on the Avenue of the Americas is one of the tallest structures in New York. It is part of the so-called “XYZ buildings” that were designed in the International Style in the 1960s and 70s as part of the expansion of Rockefeller Center.

The façade structure emphasises the verticality of the architecture. Everything here seems to be soaring high into the sky: Red granite runs in narrow strips over the entire surface, while the dark bands of continuous window make it near impossible to identify individual storeys.

Now making the break from the old structure all the more evident: The bright lobby gives the ageing skyscraper a radiant entrance area which stands in contrast to the remaining construction and clearly freshens up the somewhat dusty image of 1221 Avenue of the Americas.

The new entrance stands in contrast with the dark skyscraper.
The new entrance stands in contrast with the dark skyscraper.


Light atmosphere

The existing building lobby had a dated look: Dark-red terrazzo, Levanto marble and stainless steel columns were the characteristic features of the lobby. Developer and Architects felt it was important to lift this mood and create a bright and welcoming ambiance.

The renovation involved not only the façade on the ground floor, but also the interior space. Whilst the full glazing provides for new lines of sight, the interior space is impressive, with a bright, modern palette and the use of high-quality materials such as

terrazzo, marble and wood. The space is dominated by gleaming white, enhanced the richness of the Bleu de Savoie and Blu Masaccio marble. The space is dramatically lit by a comprehensive LED lighting system.

The new lobby appears gleaming white, using high-quality materials.
The new lobby appears gleaming white, using high-quality materials.


Transparency and color neutrality for a sophisticated façade design

The glass façade was an essential design aspect in the planning of the lobby. Characteristics such as size, light transmittance and color were key in the choice of glass.

A mock-up was built during the planning phase in order to bring the properties of the glass better to life. SILVERSTAR EN2plus fulfilled the requirements for a high-quality glass with the desired characteristics.

The ideal basis for the glass was formed by the highly transparent, color-neutral float glass Eurowhite NG that has a light transmittance value of 91 percent.

Eurowhite NG not only guarantees significantly more light transmittance than conventional glazing but is also characterised by its low iron oxide content, giving it a particularly clear and neutral color effect.


SILVERSTAR EN2plus for extra daylight and optimum energy efficiency

In addition to the properties of the highly-transparent base glass Eurowhite NG, the high color reproduction index and low reflection value of SILVERSTAR EN2plus contribute to the creation of a special, color-neutral appearance.

SILVERSTAR EN2plus also offers an efficient and energy-saving solution: A low Ug value of 1.3 W/m²K provides for an effective reduction in heating energy costs.

The translucent front of the main lobby comprises a glass area of over 400 m² in size. The 5x2 metre glass panels were structurally silicone glazed on an extruded aluminium framing system.

From the frontal view there is virtually no visible construction material on the more than nine metre high façade. In combination with the highly transparent glass façade this creates the impression of a floor-to-ceiling, almost invisible curtain.


Construction sign

Project:  Restructuring of the lobby of 1221 Avenue of the Americas
Location:  1221 Avenue of the Americas, New York
Completion:  2015
Architect:  MdeAS Architects, New York
Developer: The Rockefeller Group, New York
Property consulting: ARUP, New York
               SILVERSTAR EN2plus
Glazed area:  400 m²
Glass manufacturer: Base glass: Euroglas, Haldensleben (D)
Laminated safety glass: Glas Trösch, Bützberg (CH)
Insulating glass: Bischoff Glastechnik AG, Bretten (D)

600450 Invisible curtain
Date: 12 October 2016

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