“This geometry has unusual environmental benefits—the overslung portions shade the underslung glass below,” says the architect. The kinking glass panels will not impact energy performance, even though the pleats will increase the surface area of the building. REX is also renovating the lobby, elevators, and mechanical systems in the building, which is being renamed Five Manhattan West.
The architect and the real estate developer, Brookfield, say the slick new facade will complement the various glazed skyscrapers under construction nearby as part of the massive Hudson Yards development project. Brookfield is currently building three Skidmore, Owings & Merrill-designed (SOM) high-end residential and commercial towers next door. (An acre-long plaza, designed by James Corner Field Operations, will run between the two 60-story office towers, directly above the train tracks leading into New York’s Penn Station.)
With the building’s unusually tall 14- to 27-foot ceilings and large 100,000-square-foot floor plates—there used to be an indoor ice rink on the top floor—the developers are currently courting tenants in the creative, technology, and media sectors that favor open plans. (The developer says it has received inquiries about constructing a rock-climbing wall, running track, and skateboarding ramp.) The building will continue to be the headquarters of the Associated Press, though the other major tenant, Coach, previously announced plans to move into one of the new Hudson Yards towers in 2015.