Ateliers Jean Nouvel – Built 2010
Design Collaborator & Curtain Wall Consultant
At times architectural design and the building process are at odds. Sometimes this tension is reflected in a buildings forms, as it is in this 23 story high-end luxury condominium. As this building emerged from the ground it overwhelmed the corner of this site with a guarded insecurity. As the facade formalizes its relationship to the street and invites the city to participate in its expression and function, it will undoubtedly shroud itself in conceit. It sits juxtaposed to the soft swelling of it’s neighbor, Gehry’s IAC building, and shrugs off the hard edges of the city behind it. The matte black masonry rear wall is its sardonic yawn. The uniqueness of the tesselated and shimmering front facade is overwhelming. What is interesting is that the building uses no technical chicanery to reflect the harbor beyond, it is honest in its construction. The curved front face acts as the rippling plane of the shoreline, but it still leaves the observer wondering and evokes emotion.
To achieve the mosaic of reflections, each glass panel assembly is designed and detailed to sit at different angles, requiring complex technical detailing and coordination. Each pre-fab window is coupled within a Megapanel, totalling 165 Megapanels. The unitized curtain wall system was fabricated in China and transported piece by piece to NYC. As the Senior Detailing consultant my task was to preserve the integrity of the original design by Ateliers Jean Nouvel while preparing the technical documents that meet the demanding needs of the NYC environment.