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Wausau’s windows help a Manhattan luxury condominium achieve a historically inspired aesthetic, modern performance

  Subscribe to FREE newsletter  Feb 27, 2015

Wausau’s windows help a Manhattan luxury condominium achieve a historically inspired aesthetic, modern performance

Echoing the grand apartment towers that made Manhattan’s affluent Upper East Side famous, William Sofield served as the design architect for the historically inspired 135 East 79th Street.
Enhancing the high-profile project’s homage to pre-World War II architecture, Wausau Window and Wall Systems’ INvent Retro(TM) windows and terrace doors feature a narrow, beveled exterior face that replicates the look of classic steel and wood windows, while offering modern, high performance.

Along with Studio Sofield, Wausau worked closely on this property with developer The Brodsky Organization, architect-of-record SLCE Architects, general contractor Lend Lease, glazing contractor American Industries Corp. (AIC), building envelope and curtainwall consultants R.A. Heintges and numerous other key contributors. AIC, SLCE and Wausau previously teamed up on several other New York high-rise residences and were comfortably collaborating to achieve the intended vision for 135 East 79th Street.

The 19-story, 32-unit residential tower opened in mid-2014 and essentially sold out before winter. “Given the prestige of this property, the windows were an important contributor to its exterior appearance,” said Thomas Brodsky of The Brodsky Organization. “Wausau’s team helped us to achieve the style we sought and the performance specification we required. The new residents wanted the best and we’re pleased that these windows met their expectations.”

“For many living here, the large, historically styled, French casements and terrace doors -- and their associated daylight, fresh air and expansive views -- were key selling features, added Keith Lindberg, regional sales manager for Wausau, “We engineered these project-in French window configuration without a center post, so the residents can enjoy larger, less obstructed views. Some of the openings on 135 East 79th Street are more than 7 feet high and 8½ feet wide. The doors are up to 8 feet tall.”

In total, AIC installed 370 of Wausau’s INvent Retro-XLT 2250i Series windows and 48 matching 4250i Series Terrace Doors. All of the windows and doors use VE24-2M low-e, insulated glass fabricated by Viracon. Wausau’s products also are manufactured using recycled aluminum that contains at least 70 percent total recycled content. The exposed aluminum framing was finished in a historically appropriate bronze color by Linetec using two-coat 70 percent PVDF resin-based paint on the exterior and one-coat baked enamel paint on the interior.

Although the bronze color is the same, the different finish types were selected to meet the distinctive durability needs of their environments on the indoors and outdoors. Baked enamel coatings do not need to meet the weather-resistant criteria that exterior PVDF coatings must provide. “This dual finishing would be impractical and very expensive if Linetec wasn’t the finisher,” explains Lindberg. “Because our INvent Retro-XLT products rely on polyamide thermal barriers, also provided by Linetec, our customers have a relatively simple, affordable way to get two different types of finishes, while optimizing thermal performance.”

Exemplifying this high performance, Wausau’s INvent Retro-XLT products can achieve U-Factors as low as 0.39 BTU/hr.sqft.ºF and a Condensation Resistant Factor (CRF) as high as CRF Frame 60/Glass 70. The windows and terrace doors on 135 East 79th Street also meet AAMA AW-100 Architectural Performance Class rating, including AAMA 910-10 lifecycle testing to 4000 operating cycles and stringent requirements for air infiltration, water resistance and structural integrity.

As part of the Advantage by Wausau(R) standard product offering, INvent Retro’s windows are pre-engineered and factory-glazed to ensure the intended performance. Available on an accelerated delivery schedule, these competitively priced windows are backed with an industry-leading warranty of up to 10 years.

“135 East 79th Street is an excellent example of how the right windows can complement a neighborhood’s existing aesthetic appeal, while delivering superior performance, comfort and views. Inarguably, it one of the most attractive historically inspired, newly constructed buildings in the city,” praised Wausau’s Lindberg.

Accentuating the windows and doors’ classic appearance are articulated lintels and the window grilles at street level are antique – one bears a peacock and one bears an owl. “They’re by the same firm that did the gates at Buckingham Palace,” noted Sofield. “Really everywhere is a sense of craft. And I think from the moment that you pass the building you get a sense of that craft.”

The stone and brick was hand-laid by masons. The door hardware comes from a West Village foundry, and flanking the main entrance, the pear tree sculptures carved from limestone were designed by Sofield. He continued, “There is a romance in the detailing of the building. …I think there’s something about coming back to a building again and again and again and discovering something different.”

“This building is very different from anything I’ve designed in that I’m really quite the Modernist and this is my first foray into the antique,”
shared Sofield. “Really, I start every project as a behaviorist. So, I sat on the street and watched what happened in this neighborhood for hours and hours, and day upon day. And the buildings surrounding it are really quite beautiful.”

Sofield concluded, “I felt that I should fade away and let the neighborhood dictate what this building should be. I always kind of say if I do a really good job, nobody will ever know I existed. And I think this building is very much a testament to that because I think in a few years, everybody will think that this building had been there as part of the neighborhood for quite a long time.”

About Wausau Window and Wall Systems

Nationally recognized for its innovative expertise, Wausau Window and Wall Systems is an industry leader in engineering window and curtainwall systems for commercial and institutional construction applications. For more than 55 years, Wausau has worked closely with architects, building owners and contractors to realize their vision for aesthetic beauty, sustainability and lasting value, while striving to maintain the highest level of customer service, communication and overall satisfaction. Wausau is a part of Apogee Enterprises, Inc., a publicly held, U.S. corporation.

Wausau and its staff are members of the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA), the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the APPA – Leadership in Educational Facilities, the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI), Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), Glass Association of North America (GANA), the National Fenestration Ratings Council (NFRC) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

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