Shawmut completes NYC landmark renovation project

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Dive Brief:

  • Despite many unusual challenges, Boston-based Shawmut Design and Construction recently completed a transformative repositioning project on a 100-year-old building at 712 Fifth Ave in New York City, according to a company press release.
  • Shawmut connected and aligned the 52-story building with the building next door. That included the realignment of floor plates, relocation of columns and the creation of new elevator shafts.
  • The renovation included the preservation of historic windows created by French designer René Lalique, the removal of obstructive catwalks and the installation of a glass viewing balcony to enhance visibility and natural light.

Dive Insight:

The 650-foot-tall skyscraper’s base includes the Coty Building and the Rizzoli bookstore building, both of which are New York City-designated landmarks. 

The transformation resulted in a new atrium and the expansion of a luxury retailer to stretch across four floors.

“Making significant structural upgrades in a landmarked building while preserving original finishes was no small feat,” said Dave Margolius, executive vice president of the New York metro region at Shawmut. “The entire project team demonstrated the careful attention to detail and innovation that’s necessary to safely and successfully execute this work.”

To ensure structural stability, constructability and design elegance of the floating glass catwalks, Shawmut employed a 3D scanner to guarantee a perfect fit between custom-made composite steel beams and the glass balconies. Each balcony has eight pieces of double-layered glass and the sections cantilever off the cornered stone to extend visitors farther out into the atrium. 

The renovation is one of the latest in Shawmut’s growing New York City portfolio, which also includes work at the Hudson Research Center with Taconic Partners, Four Twenty Five restaurant at 425 Park Avenue and St. John’s University’s in-progress Health Sciences Center.

Last year, Margolius shared plans with Construction Dive to grow Shawmut’s presence in the New York metro region. Since then, in addition to various commercial, education, healthcare and life science projects, the company unveiled in May its new office in New York City.

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