The Lucida

The Lucida

A Decades-Old Movement With A New Twist

 

To say New York’s residential building known as the The Lucida is different is stating the obvious. It really should be described more as a cubic mass, castle instead of a mixed-use tower or skyscraper. This haven for city dwellers was a massive undertaking that occupies fully half of the block that stretches between Lexington and Third avenues and between 86th and 85th streets. Erected in 2009 by owner Extell Development Company, the 20-story, glass-sheathed building, designed by COOKFOX (formerly Cook + Fox Architects) has a main entrance at 1269 Lexington Avenue. The building has three floors of ground-level retail with large, expansive bays of structural glass. In 2010, Vornado Realty Trust acquired the 96,000-square-foot retail space from Extell for $165 million. The deal also included 24 rental apartments. While its amenities include a doorman, a concierge, a spa with a pool, a residents lounge with a catering kitchen, and a children’s playroom, the main attraction is the exterior glass façade of the building.

 


The defining formal element of this building is its sleek curtain wall with a large vertical relief on Lexington and cut in set backs as it nears the top on all sides like ramparts. There are no traditional spandrel breaks between floors, yet it retains a certain modular regularity that runs the entire length and breadth of the building. This glass cladding imparts a steel jade tint to the project as a whole. The Lucida is resolutely modern, all sharp angles and sheer glass cladding.

 


W&W Glass was tasked with helping create this true example of “deconstructivism.” Deconstructivism is a movement of postmodern architecture which appeared in the 1980s, which gives the impression of the fragmentation of the constructed building. It is characterized by an absence of harmony, continuity, or symmetry. Besides fragmentation, deconstructivism often manipulates the structure’s surface skin and creates by non-rectilinear shapes which appear to distort and dislocate elements of architecture (as shown by the setbacks). The finished visual appearance is characterized by unpredictability and controlled chaos, in this case like that of Rubix Cube. An interesting element in the upper part of the Lucida, and this is where the deconstructivist element kicks in even more, is the way it straddles its base at a slight angle. The effect is such as to suggest one building set atop another, at a slight angle. In many another deconstructivist buildings, such irregularity results in a feeling of displeasing irresolution and incompleteness. At the Lucida, by contrast, it creates a dramatic effect. The W&W Glass installation utilized a Sotawall® Hybrid-Wall® unitized curtain wall system and a Pilkington Optiwhite™ Pilkington Planar™ point supported structural glass retail storefront system at the podium.

 

 

In 2010 the LEED Certified Lucida received an Award of Merit from publisher New York Construction. With The Lucida we see the deconstructivist style, playfully stepping away from being just a continuous glass box, used effectively in New York City. This building creates diversity to the neighborhood and creates an element of excitement to the Upper East side.


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.

Queens Plaza Towers Rising and Renewing A Neigborhood

With a long rich heritage that is documented back to the early 1900s, the area known as Long Island City has a new neighborhood called Queens Plaza. This area is sprouting a small metropolis worth of skyscrapers, ushering in thousands of new residents, hundreds of hotel rooms, and a few hundred thousand square feet of office space. Once the site of the 18th-century village called Dutch Kills, Queens Plaza straddles the western end of Queens Boulevard in Long Island City, Queens, between 21st Street and Jackson Avenue and is surrounded by elevated subway tracks and the Queensboro Bridge.

 

With the neighborhood’s quick access to Midtown and now the up and coming Hudson Yards development, it’s no mystery why the plaza is turning into Manhattan’s newest bedroom community. Of more than 30 new projects underway in the district, the newest residents will get to call a trio of buildings their home when completed in 2018. Owned by Tishman Speyer, the large scale glass-wall structures will sport over 1,800 new luxury apartments.

 

The project has actually been on the books since way back in the last days of the Giuliani Administration, when FXFOWLE Architects designed a 4.2 million-square-foot development called “Midtown East Queens.” The $1.4 billion scheme, which would’ve been a trio of crystalline-shaped towers, fell through after September 11th. However, in 2004, The New York City Economic Development Corporation signed a deal with Tishman Speyer for a 99-year lease on the city-owned property that stipulated that Tishman would have to start building no later than 2015.

 

With the notice to proceed, the final design was conceived by AJLP Consulting, the architecture team of Goldstein, Hill and West, and Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects for the project to have three different construction companies build each tower simultaneously – Turner Construction (Building A), Hudson Meridian (Building B1), and Triton Construction (Building B2).

 

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For the intricate and sophisticated glass design, W&W Glass was selected to supply curtain walls for all three buildings. W&W Glass was chosen due to their vast experience with extremely tall glass-dominated towers. These towers are higher than average, with Building A rising up 48 stories while Building B1 and B2 tower up 57 and 47 stories each.

 

The professionals at W&W Glass chose Sotawall® Hybrid-Wall®, a high performance unitized curtain wall system that is specially designed for hi-rise residential buildings. Viracon insulated glass was chosen for their high quality fabricated glass products and their capability to supply the large volume of glass required within the tight schedule. The structurally-glazed system was comprised of floor to ceiling glass with spandrel glass and zero-siteline operable vents integrated in. Most vision glass panels were typically 5′ wide by 10′ tall, with overall glass for the project totaling up to more than 700,000 square feet. The glass towers were designed as a group to have a unique pixelated appearance from a distance with alternating vertical bands of dark and light glazing. This gives the development a cohesive signature appearance. 

 

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Aside from the new apartments, the $875 million trio will contain roughly 3,000 square feet of retail space and a 2.5-acre central park. The new buildings are directly adjacent to two new towers that are earmarked for commercial space as WeWork and Macys have committed to locating there. Tishman was prepared to build the complex on spec, but ended up pre-leasing nearly half of the $700 million development, or more than 800,000 square feet–250,000 to WeWork Cos. and 550,000 to Macy’s Inc. Looks like there is much more to come in this bustling neighborhood.

 

To learn more on the progress of these buildings, click here.

 

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.                                                            

 

The Glass Makes it Clear to See The Continental is Stunning

To some New Yorkers, The Continental tower will always be known as “Tower 111.” It was originally named Tower 111 while on the books for many years, aptly named after the developer Tower 111, LLC, before changing officially to The Continental during the 2008 financial collapse. The tower occupies the southeast corner of Avenue of the Americas and 32nd Street, located at 855 Sixth Avenue, overlooking Greeley and Herald Squares.  The building serves as a mixed-use building consisting of a 5-story podium stepping back to 48-stories of luxury rental apartments.  The 53-story tower has 31,000-square feet of retail space, one floor of offices, and 338 rental units. This 554-foot tall, modernist building was completed in 2011.  In order to make The Continental stand out from the pack, design architect Costas Kondylis + Partners decided to go with a distinct all glass exterior facade, infrequently seen in this area for residential buildings.

 

The Glass Makes

 

The architects and contractor Bovis Lend Lease LMB, Inc. knew it would take special expertise to install massive high quality unitized curtain wall on this large project.  That is why they chose one of the most well-known architectural glass facade experts in the business – W&W Glass.

 

W&W Glass put their years of expertise in NYC design and construction to use by constructing a Sotawall™ Hybrid-Wall™ curtain wall system. This project utilized 182,000-square-feet of unitized curtainwall panelized into 4,330 prefabricated frames.  The exterior skin features 10′ tall floor-to-ceiling windows and thin vertical mullions.  Panels were set from each floor onto anchors bolted to the top of the concrete slabs allowing for better tolerance, thereby eliminating the need for embed coordination and installation.  Structurally-glazed zero-sightline windows and spandrel glass were integrated into the panels to create a weather-tight, comprehensive system.

 

The Glass Makes

 

There is no shortage of expansive views of the city skyline and bountiful amenities to fulfill the desires of all tenants at this prime address.  The Continental stands out in a neighborhood of brick and precast concrete.

 

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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