Images Credit FXFowle
Every year we come to the Javits Convention Center in New York for the big ICFF show, and every year I wonder what it takes to make a convention center less of big honking energy consuming barn. The Javits is particularly awful, with it's failing glass "crystal palace" glass façade and entry and its roof that has leaked since the day it opened.
Now FXFowle is fixing the place up; they are installing a new green roof and mechanical systems, but most importantly, they are completely redoing the exterior glazing. The changes will result in a watertight building and produce energy savings of 26%.
Aaron Seward explains in the Architect's Newspaper:
The existing system was so deteriorated--and there were so many unknown conditions--that no subcontractor would touch it. Plus, simply replacing the glass wouldn't have provided the opportunity of putting a thermal break in the system, meaning that, no matter how efficient the new glass proved to be, insulation values would not be much improved. In the end, the team decided to replace the facade entirely.
Because of cutbacks in funding (to less than a third of what was originally budgeted) the place looks pretty much the same as it does now, albeit the current glazing is heavily bronzed and no doubt the lobby will be a lot brighter. But fundamentally, it is the lobby, that you are in exactly long enough to register; then it is down to the convention floor, the anonymous cavern that could be anywhere. It is a shame that they didn't follow through on the original plans that would have fixed its other deficiencies.
Crystal Palace, Hyde Park, London, 1851
They really don't make them like they used to.