Photo credit: Michael Moran
Shawmut completed a transformative repositioning project at 712 Fifth Avenue which allows the community to experience New York’s only historic René Lalique-designed glass building façade in a new public atrium.
Working with Paramount Group and architects Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), Shawmut executed the design vision within the 100-year-old, landmarked building, underneath a 52-story, 650-foot-tall skyscraper, to connect and align it with the building next door, creating a new atrium and allowing a luxury retailer to expand across four floors.
A guiding principle of the renovation was to celebrate, protect, and preserve the historic Lalique windows—which date back to 1910, feature Art Nouveau flowers, and span from the second to fourth floors. Originally, catwalks across three floors of the internal perimeter decreased visibility of the windows. To allow for unobstructed views and improve the reach of natural light in the building, the team removed two floors of catwalks and installed a glass viewing balcony, including glass railings on the second floor for unobscured viewing.
To ensure structural stability, constructability, and design elegance of the floating glass catwalks, Shawmut 3D-scanned the balconies to ensure the perfect fit of custom-made composite steel beams that support the glass balconies. Each balcony has eight pieces of double-layered glass, and sections cantilever off the cornered stone to extend visitors farther out into the atrium. The project also included realigning floor plates, relocating columns, and creating new elevator shafts.