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242 Broome features a
custom curtainwall system
that creates a folding,
twisting pattern on
42 Broome at Essex Crossing
“This is the most unique aspect of this custom wall.”
The storefront features large windows, and the glass sizes
shrink progressively up to the fifth floor, providing a tapering
New York City
A champagne-clad façade of anodized aluminum—with
bends and angles to boot—was just the right combination to
help the 242 Broome project blend in while standing out.
Designed by SHoP Architects, the 14-story mixed-use condo- effect. The windows are smallest in the middle band, where
minium is the first completed structure within Essex Crossing, occupants are closest to their neighbors. This was done to
a significant urban renewal development in Manhattan. The
façade of metal panels and curtainwall begins to twist slightly
westward at the fifth floor, allowing for maximum views, natu-
ral light and privacy.
increase privacy while allowing occupants to enjoy the brick
aesthetics of surrounding buildings.
“Then as the façade goes up, the windows widen and the
[opaque] portions shrink, so you get more open views toward
the top,” says Getman. “… There are five standard panel sizes.
Because of the stepping of the building and change in panel
size, it creates that movement on the façade.”
Getman says the anodized finish provides a “stable” color.
She adds, “With anodized, you get more depth in the alumi-
num in how it catches the light.”
The Lower East Side is rich in terms of materiality—there
are lots of textures, brick, and lots of depth in façades… every-
thing but an all-glass building,” says Dana Getman, SHoP’s
lead architect on the project. “So we started from that point.
It needed to be something that has depth, shadows and thick-
nesses, and balancing that while taking advantage of gorgeous
views you have of lower Manhattan through midtown.”
With those factors in mind, the folding façade pattern was
born. “The building itself steps back from corner, which cre-
Like any complex façade project, teamwork among the vari-
ous players was crucial to its realization. “With weekly design-
assist meetings, we were able to successfully collaborate with
ates kind of terracing,” says Getman. “It appears as if it’s twist- SHoP architects and SLCE Architects (the architect of record),
ing around the corner, giving the building some movement.”
Walsh Glass and Metal designed, fabricated and installed
the façade system, working with manufacturing partner AZA-
Int., based in Italy, and U.S.-based Fairfield Metals.
as well as façade consultant Frank Seta and Associates, to
achieve the design intent and meeting all engineering and instal-
lation requirements,” says Richard Egan, president of Walsh.
Getman adds: “It’s critical to sit in the same room with the
contractor and fabricator to talk through the details and prior-
itize. If you’re not in the room together, it is really difficult to
maintain design intent.” AGG
We decided to fully unitize the curtainwall, capturing all
the metal panel bends within the units,” says Walsh sales and
project manager Daniela Ceini.