East 79th St Retrofit

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This 160-unit residential co-op, constructed in 1961 in New York City’s Upper East Side neighborhood, was an early example of the white glazed brick buildings that came to characterize the area’s development projects of that era.

The original building design prioritized comfortable units with large, spacious rooms in keeping with the upscale neighborhood. But the economy of means also dictated a purely functional design of the façade. As the building aged, façade safety inspections required by New York City’s Building Code uncovered structural and masonry failures that required repairs at significant cost and inconvenience to the building’s residents.

Façade probes showed that the exterior had no insulation at all, and that in addition to the failing glazed face-brick, the back-up masonry had been poorly installed. In short, the façade was failing. By 2018 it became clear that a full façade recladding was in order. A new architectural team was brought in to design new cladding for the building; they used the opportunity to also recommend a complete retrofit of the building envelope.

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