Take the newly finished High Line to 26th street and look up. Here you'll find one of Murdock Solon Architect's latest projects – three glass rooftop additions on 513-521 West 26th Street.
This view from the High Line has been top of mind from the onset of the project. With the High Line's elevated experience, users see New York City from a new angle, making sections of buildings that were once not as important now very important, namely the party wall. This is addressed in this project by engaging this secondary facade, currently an afterthought, as the new primary facade of the buildings. This is achieved through creating a composition of three glass boxes.
Wrapped in a glass curtain wall with a unique honeycomb pattern, the new office and gallery spaces will mimic the High Line experience, uniting the neighborhood's industrial past, current contemporary art influences, and nature.
Our goal has been to design an addition that would mimic these experiences while complementing the buildings' original designs. The three connected, but tiered buildings share similar features with rhythmically placed windows and brick facades. The earliest building was built in 1911, and all three were home to factories, two serving as daylight factories.
The new rooftop additions play on this idea of daylight with the glass curtain wall with anodized aluminum frames. The one-way vision laminate layer featuring the honeycomb pattern is only visible from the exterior and is completely invisible from the interior, drawing the neighborhood in through reflection, light, and transparency. The honeycomb pattern gradually increases in scale as the additions move further away from the High Line. The finalization of the pattern required extensive coordination with the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Other materials include a gray weathered zinc panel, concrete terrace pavers, and concrete parapet. Each penthouse also includes an interior linear light fixture that runs the perimeter of the space, which also serves to unify the structures and make them "beacons."
Building of penthouse 513 is underway with a completion scheduled for the spring of 2012.
Follow our project here as we add more details throughout the construction process.