A shape-shifting aesthetic and energy efficiency define Manhattan’s iconic VIA 57 West

An audacious residential structure in New York City preserves spectacular outdoor views while minimizing solar heat gain.

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May 29, 2018 |

New York may be home to more architectural landmarks than any city in the U.S., so when renowned architect Bjarke Ingels was commissioned by Durst Fetner to design a new apartment building along the city’s Hudson River, he chose to make a splash.

The result is VIA 57 West, an audacious, shape-shifting structure that appears as a soaring 467-foot spire when seen from the city-side of the building and a glittering metal-clad pyramid when viewed from the river.

Featuring a hybrid design that unites the traditional looks of a courtyard-block-style apartment complex and a towering Manhattan high-rise, VIA 57 West creates a striking profile on the New York city skyline and satisfies Ingels’ desire to connect residents to the outside world. To achieve that objective, the architect incorporated a variety of components, including a generous courtyard that punctures the center of the façade, open terraces that perforate the glittering metal curtain wall and oversized bay windows strategically positioned to brighten each of the building’s 709 apartments.

Utilizing Solarban® 70XL glass by Vitro Glass, the floor-to-ceiling windows in VIA 57 West contribute to an integrated energy management program that incorporates a highly efficient mechanical system, occupancy sensors for lighting and a hybrid water source heat pump system.

Carlos Amin, vice president of sales for Tecnoglass, said his company fabricated 5,000 window units from Solarban® 70XL glass in an array of shapes and sizes for the project, which he called one of the most complex he had ever worked on.

“The building faces west, so the architect was intent on specifying a product with a high solar heat gain coefficient,” he explained. “He also wanted a glass with good transparency to preserve the views.”

Formulated with the industry’s first triple-silver coating, Solarban® 70XL glass has a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of 0.27 and a visible light transmittance of 64 percent in a standard 1-inch insulating glass unit. That configuration, which was specified for VIA 57 West, enables window units to block more than 70 percent of the ambient solar energy from entering the building, reducing demand for air-conditioning in the spring and summer, and enhancing the comfort and views of building occupants throughout the year.

As a glass and metal fabricator, Tecnoglass served as part of an integrated team of high-end contractors involved in meeting the building’s complex design demands. Working together, Tecnoglass, ENCLOS, Techniform and Bunting Architectural Metals fabricated, assembled and installed more than 350,000 square-feet of curtain wall; a 110,000-square-foot stainless steel slope wall; 1,200 stainless steel cladding components and 50,000 square-feet of glass-fiber reinforced concrete to create a 515,200-square-foot building envelope.

Since opening in 2016, VIA 57 West has gained numerous accolades for both its design and environmental performance. Even more important, it has added a gleaming new inhabitant to New York’s register of famous architecture while providing an oasis of comfort and sustainability to more than 700 residents and their families.

To learn more about Solarban® 70XL glass and other high-performance glass products by Vitro Glass, visit www.vitroglazings.com.

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