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REX's Five Manhattan West is the latest revamp for an evolving NYC

REX's design for Five Manhattan West in New York. Image courtesy of REX. Five Manhattan West. Image: Miller Hare, courtesy of REX. 'Designed by architecture firm Davis Brody (now Davis Brody Bond) and completed in 1969, 450 West 33rd Street (450W33) is an exemplar of late Brutalist architecture...' Image courtesy of REX. 'During the 1980s, the building’s hard beauty was neutered when its external structural elements were painted beige and its fill-in wall panels clad in brown-colored metal siding.' Image courtesy of REX. 'The building’s massive floor plates (ranging from 8,000 m2 to 11,500 m2 / 86,000 sf to 124,000 sf) and unusually high ceilings (typically 5 m / 16.5 ft) provide a huge amount of uniquely dimensioned, free plan “support space” for Manhattan West’s and Hudson Yards’ significant injection of traditional Class A offices.' Image courtesy of REX. 'In considering how to re-clad the building—simultaneously improving its aesthetics and performance—its geometry posed two fundamental design challenges. First, its shape was, bluntly, unflattering. Second, the majority of its perimeter walls were sloped at an angle of 20 degrees...' Image courtesy of REX. 'The obvious response to overcome this code burden would be to create a ziggurat—or step-shaped façade... However, this approach would create an unacceptable snow, ice, and guano hazard.' Image courtesy of REX. 'A suitable variation of this approach is to pleat the façade above head strike: views to the exterior are unimpeded, leasable area is maintained, and all hazards are avoided. Further, this pleated geometry improves both energy performance and visual comfort as compared to that of a planar façade applied to the same underlying sloped building geometry.' Image courtesy of REX. 'While the pleating of the façade results in an increase of overall glass surface, the insulation value of the new glazing assembly is significantly higher than that of the original glass, resulting in no net loss of insulation value or energy performance. Meanwhile, the increased area of glazing allows for deeper penetration of daylight into the interior.' Image courtesy of REX. 'To create an exciting geometry that harmonizes the pleated window areas with the vertical regions at the building’s top, the severity of the pleats gradually reduce the higher they go. To minimize the façade’s cost, the under-slung panes of the pleated façade never exceed 15 degrees from vertical, which allows the system to utilize a monolithic IGU solution, as opposed to the safety laminated glazing required for skylights (defined as glazing angled 15 degrees or more from vertical).'... 'The resulting shape is one that suggests either a shimmering cascade...' Image courtesy of REX. '...or a beckoning lighthouse Fresnel lens that reflects the sky.' Image courtesy of REX. REPOSITIONED 450 W 33rd STREET. Image: Miller Hare, courtesy of REX. 'From the user’s experience, the “Fresnel” geometry allows for remarkable transparency that opens up the massive floor plates...' Image: Miller Hare, courtesy of REX. '...renders the building highly transparent from street level, and breaks down its overall mass' Image: Miller Hare, courtesy of REX. 'The façade’s unique geometry demands a strategic design for the window washing system. The employed solution features a conventional track, torpedo, and gondola system adapted to move freely over the undulating curves of the façade, to transition easily from vertical to pleated façade, and to glide across stack joint conditions without jamming or inflicting damage.' Image courtesy of REX. 'At the core of the building’s repositioning is the owner’s commitment to adaptively reusing a large-scale, urban building. 450W33 is to become so wholly integrated into Brookfield’s premiere development...' Image courtesy of REX. ' As such, it stands to prove the plausibility of creating... 18 contemporary, competitive, LEED TM Certified office stock from structures that might normally be considered for demolition.' Image: Miller Hare, courtesy of REX.

'...or a beckoning lighthouse Fresnel lens that reflects the sky.' Image courtesy of REX.

"...or a beckoning lighthouse Fresnel lens that reflects the sky." Image courtesy of REX.