640 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY, USA Vornado Realty Trust Heritage + Historic, Repositioning + Transformation 302,000 ft2 / 28,000 m2 New York Construction News Best of 2004 Award of Merit – Renovation

This renovation and expansion project, completed in 2004, involved constructing an as-of-right three-story addition of 30,000 square feet and re-massing of the top floors of the existing 1949 structure. The project team stripped the existing exterior limestone façade from the 18th floor down to the 10th floor, and built and maintained a temporary protective roof for a full season. Tenants occupied the first eight floors throughout the project. The limestone at the base of the building was cleaned and re-pointed and new windows were installed.

To avoid disturbing the tenants in the base of the building new framing above the 10th floor transferred loads to the exterior columns of the building. Also an existing truss for the previous ground floor banking hall was reinforced to take the interior columns and new transfer columns were the new roof setbacks were created. The strength of the existing steel columns and beams was tested and confirmed along with the bearing capacity of the existing rock foundation.

The team also completely renovated the lobby and added floor-to-ceiling windows, which provide views of St. Patrick's Cathedral and the rooftop gardens of Rockefeller Center. The team also replaced and relocated the building's mechanical and electrical equipment in a phased sequence, while keeping systems for the occupied floors operating. Another aspect of the renovation involved installing new cooling towers and a water tank. The project team erected the new towers and tank above the existing ones, built the new three-story addition around them, tied in the new equipment, and then removed the old systems.

The team also replaced and relocated the building's mechanical and electrical equipment in a phased sequence, while keeping systems for the occupied floors operating. The project team erected the new cooling towers and water tank above the existing ones, built the new three-story addition around them, tied in the new equipment, and then removed the old systems. Also the elevator machine rooms for the highrise floors were relocated to the top of the building.

Image 1 / 7 | © John Chu