Project description: 

The Concept

15 Union Square West in New York City is the 21st century artistic metamorphosis of Tiffany & Company’s 19th century headquarters overlooking historic Union Square Park. The original Tiffany & Co. building featured a cast iron and stone clad façade. When architects Perkins Eastman, New York, set out to renovate the building, designers stripped off the old cladding and replaced it with a state-of-the-art curtain-wall system and the dramatic original cast-iron arched windows are now set behind a new facade of black zinc and glass.The building had cast iron arches as part of the structure, these arches were exposed when the most recent renovation took place, and the architects decided to incorporate them as a feature.

The Challenge

The main problem was that some of the floors spanned 6.4 meters. This was a challenge to achieve a full-height glazing unit that would not break down the marvelous arched features of the apartments inside. Furthermore, the glasses had to ensure excellent clarity for the occupants.

The Realization

To accommodate the original high ceilings, Business Unit Façade supplied oversized glass lites, up to 5.8 meters high. The whole building was to have made to-measure pieces all over the façade. It was not until a complete survey of the building was completed that the glass could even be ordered and produced. Almost every single piece of glass on the building is a unique size to fit a unique aperture in the façade. In total, the building features more than 700 different sized insulating glass units. To ensure clarity of view for the occupants, the architects chose DIAMANT low-iron glass for both inner and outer panes, with a neutral gray low-emissivity coating on the No. 2 surface and CLIMAPLUS which has an outstanding daylight harvesting qualities. The original building was only five stories tall and the 2010 conversion added seven floors and all floors were clad in dark glass with asymmetrical frame elements.

The building construction was a success. The transformation from a small, cast-iron headquarters for Tiffany & Co. to a modern, dark-glass luxury residential condominium structure significantly enlivened its Union Square environment.