Behind The Glass: Finishing Touches Almost Complete for First Office Tower at Hudson Yards Development
Hudson Yards is the largest private real estate development in the history of the United States and the largest development in New York City since Rockefeller Center. It is anticipated that more than 24 million people will visit Hudson Yards every year.
Excitement has been growing as fast as one of the most exciting projects in recent New York City history is being completed. The updated complex project master plan includes over 16 skyscrapers and 17,400,000 square feet of office, residential, and retail space stretched across twenty-eight acres on the Far West Side. Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group have brought together a group of visionaries to develop an exceptional neighborhood that delivers 21st century office space and unparalleled amenities for the next generation of employees.
The Hudson Yards development is literally creating a complete neighborhood destination from the ground up. New large developments like this can certainly have their challenges, and this is no exception. Hudson Yards is seated directly above one of the busiest commuter rail yards in the country. Structure had to be put in place before any of the buildings could be erected without disrupting train services.
One of the earliest and most innovative buildings is 10 Hudson Yards. Initial work on this building, owned by Related Companies and designed by KPF, began in late 2012. The transformation over the past 3 years has been nothing short of remarkable.
The southern facade of 10 Hudson Yards cantilevers over the 30th Street spur of the High Line, and the building’s main lobby entrances to the west are to be directly accessible from the elevated park. 10 Hudson Yards is a 52-story office building with 1,700,000 square feet of floor space, anchored by one of fashion’s most respected brands – Coach, Inc. It will also be home to L’Oréal USA and SAP. Talk about convenience. There will be access to Hudson Yards from the newly opened No. 7 Line MTA subway extension and the High Line, tying the recently repurposed, iconic elevated railway park together with the hottest new commercial office and retail area in the city that will truly redefine and reshape Midtown Manhattan.
The designers and owners knew that it would be no small feat to achieve the look and feel they wanted for their grand lobby entrance and high-span atrium wall. The previous structural glass work W&W Glass accomplished at AOL Time Warner Center (a Related Companies property), Bank of America Tower, and the planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History was taken into account. With a project this size, no one wanted to leave these elements up to chance; W&W Glass was the logical choice for this major undertaking due to their successful portfolio of work and expertise.
The vision was for dramatic expanses of ultra-clear, point-supported glass with a minimal back-up structure. The challenge at 10 Hudson Yards was creating an 82-foot tall Pilkington PlanarTM cable tension wall lobby facade with entrances, a trapezoidal 207-foot tall “Coach Atrium” Pilkington PlanarTM cable wall spanning from floors 6 to 21, and interior glass conference rooms (single-height and double-height) inside the open Coach atrium space.
To pull off sheer beauty and excellence is not easy. In the case of the Coach Atrium wall, there were custom steel kickers tying back every vertical cable to the horizontal steel box beams at every two floors (roughly every 27 feet) to help lessen the tension loads on the boundary structure. There were also two 82-foot tall structure-less corners that had to be engineered to work without the use of typical steel corner posts to meet the architectural intent. This was not an easy feat to accomplish due to the glass module being 10-foot wide and at the corner wind load zones of the skyscraper. Pilkington Planar™ systems often allow designers the opportunity to customize hardware to meet project-specific aesthetic and performance requirements as shown by the rectangular patch fittings on 10 Hudson Yards. Every application is unique, requiring engineering analysis and glass/hardware customization to ensure the best use of materials to provide the best overall value.
Completion of 10 Hudson Yards is planned for May 2016. Designers and construction companies alike continue to rely on W&W Glass’ reputation for executing the finest craftsmanship and construction to meet project schedule and budget requirements. Their performance on this unique project is just one more reason why.
W&W Glass LLC is a family owned business with a 70-year history in the metal and glass industry, one of the largest metal and glass companies in the New York metropolitan area and the largest supplier of structural glass systems in the country. We have over two decades of experience in the design and installation of various building enclosure systems, including stick-built curtain walls, pre-glazed unitized curtain walls, Pilkington Planar™ structural glass facades, and custom metal and glass enclosure systems. We install all of our work with our own dedicated union labor force. W&W is consistently the largest employer of glaziers in the NY metropolitan area.
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