STUDIOTJOA Diversity Badge

Female owned

Boulder, CO


Thermalswitch Facade

There are four different types of facade renovations: Replacement, Recladding, Overcladding and Double Skin. When it comes to the preservation of a landmark building, like The Metlife Building, the first two could be argued as the most appropriate, although probably not the most financially feasible.

The Thermalswitch facade looks at hybridizing the overcladding and double skin techniques to create a unitized frame which mounts directly over the existing precast panels. The Metlife facade is constructed of a primary precast panel with integrated fins on both sides that alternates every other bay. Between these primary panels, secondary infills are set at the spandrel conditions.

Because the Thermalswitch unit is designed to fit over the existing single floor unit, once the units are unloaded on a floor above, the existing glazing is removed and they are set via a custom horizontal slide and floor crane through the opening of the precast unit. The crew on the reclad floor are tied off and can set temporary ledges off the precast unit to receive and anchor the Thermalswitch unit to the precast facade.

Once this is set, the rough opening can be reglazed with a new fiberglass frame that features an integrated trickle vent at the head to complete the recladding. This overcladding only requires two floors to be vacated at a time; the loaded floor and the recladding floor. As the crew moves up the building the loaded floor becomes the reclad floor while the remainder of the offices above and below can continue to occupy the space until the reclad has reached them. 

Read more

Status: Competition Entry
Location: New York, NY, US
Firm Role: Designers
Additional Credits: Audrey Worden, Alex Worden