April 29, 2022 | Updated: June 8, 2023
Walking along New York's great avenues, through its galleries and parks is a way to directly experience the history of contemporary architecture and the urban development that the city has undergone in recent years.
Famous for its towering skyscrapers and monumental museums, New York is an architectural icon that constantly brings past and present together. Landmarks such as the Empire State Building, Grand Central Terminal, the Flatiron Building, the New York Public Library, the New York Stock Exchange, the Chrysler Building and the Guggenheim Museum coexist with the new work of Foster + Partners (50 Hudson Yards, 2 World Trade Center, the Hearst Tower), Herzog & Meuron (56 Leonard Street), Cetra Ruddy (Rose Hill skyscraper), Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (The Edge skyscraper) and Zaha Hadid Architects (520 West 28th Street).
The new approach to design being implemented in the city with sustainability and energy efficiency as its main objectives has also been transferred to the residential and office sectors. Two markets where PORCELANOSA has established a strong presence, becoming one of the leading firms in the city's development.
The Spanish multinational, which has a 2,000 square metre flagship store designed by Norman Foster on Fifth Avenue in New York, is increasingly to be seen in the green habitable urban redesign projects that have made New York the Mecca of sustainable architecture.
This article shows the architectural change that the Big Apple is undergoing through five iconic façades built with PORCELANOSA materials.
1. Convivium Building
This luxurious two- and three-bedroom apartment building is located in Manhattan. Planned according to energy efficiency standards with PORCELANOSA materials, the towering ventilated façade with its geometric design uses Butech's concealed clip system to improve the insulation of the building and enhance the vertical garden on the top floor.
2. Dahlia Upper West Side
The RKTB architecture studio has designed this 38-home building at 212 West 95th Street in New York's Upper West Side. Its vertical structure, inspired by the Dahlia, echoes the action of plucking petals from a flower, through superimposed volumes and windows that appear to fold and unfold on the façade.
Coated with PORCELANOSA Group natural ceramics, each of its levels incorporates the Butech ventilated façade system. This technical solution has made it possible to create a dynamic, staggered final design, combining windows with black frames and ceramic surfaces.
3. Apartments at 856 Washington Avenue
The 26 apartment building stands In Washington Avenue in Brooklyn, a few metres from the Brooklyn Public Library and Botanical Gardens. With rationalist design by Kutnicki Bernstein Architects and a façade full of open horizontal windows with the Butech system, on the 1,000 square metre exterior structure, Boston Topo porcelain by PORCELANOSA alternates with Graphite tiles. This creates a greyish colour gradient, which further emphasises the verticality of the building.
4. 5 Court Square
This 11-floor glazed building with 58 apartments is located on Long Island. It consists of two symmetrical glass towers on which Ferroker (STON-KER®, Porcelanosa) metallic porcelain panels have been fitted, the Butech technical system being used to fix the pieces symmetrically, emphasising their geometric lines and right angles.
5. 15 East 19 Street
Brooklyn has become one of the most sought-after residential areas in New York because of the facilities available to residents in its 38 neighbourhoods: parks, gardens, schools, good public transport, sports centres, restaurants and shops. Services that can also be enjoyed by the residents of 15 East 19 Street, a 33-home complex in one of the district's quietest residential areas.
Its ventilated façade with Butech's concealed clip system recalls an accordion with three irregular towers that seem to stretch and contract at the same time. This sense of arrhythmic movement has been achieved by a staggered arrangement of Boston Topo rectangular porcelain tiles from Porcelanosa, which reproduce the colour of northern European stone and create a double skin on the exterior of the building.