New York City’s skyline has a newly renovated addition—261 Madison Ave.
CARVART, a creative solutions company specializing in architectural glass products and hardware systems, helped to produce a custom etched insulated product for the exterior façade 261 Madison and assisted in finding solutions to problems with space and design issues. Working closely with CetraRuddy architects, they combined ideas for a “one of a kind” solution for the exterior. The finished product consists of a unique custom insulated unit made by layering the custom infinity etched pattern on the front while employing CARVART’s pure shimmer laminated product on the back. The exterior glass product also includes a unique shadow 3D pattern effect which changes depending on the location of the sun.
Eugene Flotteron, AIA, Partner, CetraRuddy, commented on CARVART’s role in finding a solution for the 261 Madison project, “CARVART was able to provide a sample of the custom IGU (Insulated Glazed Unit) to meet the design needs of both the architect and the owner. Specifically we wanted a custom etched pattern on the glass and the other vendors provided film patterns on glass.” At the completion of the project, there was renovation of 400 linear ft. of the existing building façade 2 stories high, spans three city blocks and contains 150 panels. The layout included an envelope for the main building entrance, lobby, and 2 retail tenants: the existing Signature Bank, and the new restaurant Zuma.
The product used on the exterior was glass type GL-2, which is a custom decorative IGU at the opaque portions of a wall in the façade. This is made up of low iron tempered glass with an etched pattern on surface #2. Also, it boasts ½’’ air space, and low iron etched surface #3 laminated to a 3rd low iron glass with mirror-back on surface #6. For the custom pattern, CARVART’s etching process contributed to the inherent luminous quality of the glass as opposed to an applied film proposed by other vendors. Overlaying the etched pattern on top of an air space and then the mirror-back glass added a 3-dimensional quality to a 1-3/8” thick IGU.
The interior of the building features a glass type called GL-5, and in the lobby there is a beautiful rice paper laminated glass. The GL-5 was also selected to match an existing reception desk and has similar qualities of the exterior GL-2 glass with the reflective shimmer effect. In the lobby, the oversized 12-foot tall reflective interlayer rice paper product is used to create an aesthetically pleasing sight for those who walk by.
“This is a custom laminated glass with rice paper inside,” explains Edward Geyman, CEO of CARVART. The rice paper is sandwiched between 3/8” low iron glass and ¼” reflective low iron mirror to create this subtle and warm product. The thick front piece of glass and reflective quality of the mirror gives a beautiful depth to the product.”
A collaborative effort between CARVART, the design team, and the owner, all of the items were customized to the project’s needs. CetraRuddy provided a pattern in CAD to CARVART. CARVART then produced shop drawings of the exterior glass panels and was given specific geometric parameters to create the woven infinity pattern. The shop drawings were then reviewed by the design team and owner, and after many collaborations, the final pattern was approved. The woven infinity pattern is meant to represent fortune and wealth.
CARVART’s customized products played a large role in the success of the project and the space turned out exactly as expected according to CetraRuddy. The effect of the exterior etched pattern performed precisely as it was planned. It visually changes throughout the day and creates several layers of shadows and light. CARVART’s ability to create a custom product enabled CetraRuddy to design a unique façade for the owner. It also brought a fresh and exciting exterior to the new high profile restaurant tenant.
The structurally glazed curtainwall, erected by WW Glaziers LLC, was another product of collaboration. They provided their shop drawings in order for CARVART to see the spacing between the glass at the mullions. All these relationships helped to create a special and successful renovation. 261 Madison Ave. is a great example of different determined, and well-respected parties coming together to find solutions to building problems. CARVART strives for this type of excellence with every endeavor. 261 Madison is now a spectacularly designed high-rise building with an ever-changing presence.