660 5th Avenue modernization project: in the tower, the previous aluminum facade at the top, the exposed steel structure in the middle, the new glass elements at the bottom, and the exposed podium at the very bottom.


Master place guarantee for edge seal with silicone sealant and Super Spacer®

Whether refurbishing or new projects – the high quality insulating glass manufacturer AGC INTERPANE has a constant stream of projects in New York. The Super Spacer® T-Spacer™ SG warm edge spacer system, specially developed for glass edge sealing with silicone sealants, is always part of the action.

Trophy assets in outstanding locations generate high rental income and attract the most affluent tenants. Luxurious comfort floors with fine dining, open-air terraces and flexible event and conference rooms, such as in the new One Vanderbilt, are emblematic of the modern generation of office towers in Manhattan. In New York, the best location also means the best view of the skyline, so aging office buildings are being brought up-to-date with sums in the 3-digit millions to include fully-glazed facades. For decades, AGC INTERPANE has been one of Europe’s top addresses for high-quality, multifunctional, large area insulating glazing. In addition to coating expertise and outstanding insulation values, the high quality of the insulating glass is the decisive benefit. 

“There are no complaints with us. Anything other than delivering 100 % quality without exception is inconceivable in our business,” says Daniel Bruckelt, head of insulating glass production at AGC INTERPANE. The Plattling-based company belongs to the illustrious circle of those who are requested for the glazing of megaprojects all over the world. But in addition to new construction, glass for energy-related facade renovation and modernization also contributes a large share of sales. In Manhattan, two exclusive office locations owned by Brookfield Properties have just been reglazed with AGC INTERPANE insulating glass.

660 5th Avenue: transverse instead of longitudinal glazing

First, there is the 39-story former Tishman Building on 5th Avenue. It was built in 1957 on the site where William K. Vanderbilt’s Petit Chateau once stood. The tower, which was redesigned and gutted according to the designs of Kohn Pedersen Fox, will once again bear the number 660 instead of 666 after the renovation. A glass facade with floor-to-ceiling, horizontally arranged insulating glass panes replaces the previous, non-insulating facade made of embossed aluminum. AGC INTERPANE supplied around 2,000 panes of 6 x 3.2 m glass, equipped with 20 mm Super Spacer® T-Spacer™ SG as spacers – a total of around 25,000 m2 of insulating glass – to North America. Daniel Bruckelt explains, “In the past, floors were built lower. Today, facades of high-rise buildings worldwide have a span of 1.5 to 3.0 meters in width and 3.5 to 4.5 meters in height. The existing building at 660 5th Ave had a grid dimension of 5.8 meters in width and 3.2 meters in height. Therefore, in this particular case, the panes could be installed horizontally. The facade view makes the building unique among the other glass facades in New York.” The amount of glass in the façade will nearly triple, and according to Brookfield, these are the largest, elemental windows in North America.

Crystal clear, elegant structural glazing facade for Two Bryant Park

The second recently completed modernization project is Two Bryant Park. The former HBO headquarters at the corner of 1100 Avenue of the Americas (formerly 6th Avenue) and 42nd Street, was remodeled to a design by New York firm MdeAS. Directly adjacent rises the iconic Grace Building with its curved lower edge, connected to Two Bryant Park on the north side by the also redesigned Grace Plaza with seating, trees, retail and dining areas. World-class jazz trumpeter Till Brönner reportedly named an original composition after the intersection of “42nd & 6th” because “there’s absolutely nothing going on.” In fact, the location across from Bryant Park and the New York Public Library is one of the quieter corners in Manhattan, but “dining al fresco” in the greenery is certainly not the worst idea on a hot summer day.

Originally built in 1906 in the Beaux-Arts style, the building had been raised from 6 stories to 15 in several stages. In 1984, Kohn Pedersen Fox had already completely restructured the building and clad it with a curtain wall of dark green glass and aluminum. At that time, color-neutral solar control glass was not yet available. AGC INTERPANE had only introduced it as ipasol natura in 1995 as a world premiere. With ipasol Platin 46/31, a highly selective “descendant” with high daylight transmission was used in the new all-glass facades.

For the project, AGC INTERPANE produced 9,000 m2 of insulating glass in two different variants. The main type had the structure 10 mm Clearlite™ (TVG) outside and 6 mm Clearlite™ (TVG) inside. For the podium, around 1,000 m2 of glass with the structure 1010.4 white glass (TVG) and ipasol coating Platinum 46/31 was installed on the outside and 1010.4 white glass (ESG+HST) on the inside. The latter had dimensions of up to 3.20 m x 4.60 m with a weight of around 1,500 kg. All in all, AGC INTERPANE delivered 450 tons of glass in overseas containers to the facade builder W&W Glass. The glass is installed with a light gray Super Spacer® T-Spacer™ SG spacer and sealed with gray silicone.

Special spacer for processing with silicone sealant

The Super Spacer® T-Spacer™ SG is the latest product from Edgetech and was developed in close coordination with AGC INTERPANE specifically for structural glazing and XXL glazing. “Quality manufacturers like AGC INTERPANE provide long warranties on insulating glass units. This means no visible aging, no thermal breakage, no water vapor diffusion, no relevant gas loss, no migration of the butyl seal,” explains Christoph Rubel, European Technical Manager at Edgetech Europe. “The refurbishing projects in New York used a UV-resistant, but gas-permeable silicone secondary sealant. So, the primary sealant bears the brunt of keeping the edge seal gas-tight,” he continues.

For this reason, the lateral areas of the Super Spacer® T-Spacer™ SG are enlarged for the application of the polyisobutylene compared to the Super Spacer® T-Spacer™ Premium Plus. The spacer design also supports millimeter-precise application of the spacer in the automatic ISO line. “The parallelism of the spacer to the glass edge and minimal tolerances are not only optical criteria for large panes with narrow joints that architects and facade construction customers explicitly pay attention to, but these properties contribute to the stability of the entire element,” says Daniel Bruckelt. “The decision to use Super Spacer as a spacer is also a strategic one. We know from experience that we can use it without hesitation to give assurances for the service life of the edge seal, even in silicone applications,” Daniel Bruckelt continues.

Stunning: The Summit at One Vanderbilt

Another AGC INTERPANE project in Midtown Manhattan, completed in summer 2021, offers a perfect view of Two Bryant Park. Just a few buildings away, right next to Grand Central Station, One Vanderbilt rises 77 stories and 427 meters high, making it the fourth tallest tower in the city. AGC INTERPANE supplied the glazing for the four floors of “The Summit” observation deck at a height of 335 meters. Cantilevered glass boxes, a digital art installation by Kenzo, a restaurant as well as a bar and, above all, the glazed elevators that rise from Grand Central on the outside of the building up to the platform, characterize the latest spectacular attraction in New York. The tower was designed by KPF, Snøhetta designed the interior of The Summit, and Permasteelisa Group was responsible for the complete facade construction. To ensure that the view of Madison and Vanderbilt Ave is not only safe but also completely clear, LSG panes of 4 x 10 mm Clearvision white glass with SGP interlayers and ClearSight™ layers were installed at positions 1 and 8 for the terrace area and the cantilevered glass boxes. The double insulating glass units for the interior areas of the four floors consist of laminated safety glass 1010.4 with Sentry interlayer and have dimensions of up to 2 m x 5.3 m.

Joachim Stoss, Managing Director of Edgetech Europe GmbH and Vice President International Sales at Quanex, is proud: “Our Silicone Glazing Spacer is a prime example of how successful customer-supplier relationships are based on much more than product reliability and quality.  Developing custom-fit solutions together with the customer is the supreme discipline in any business. We are naturally honored by the trust placed in our work.”

About Edgetech Europe GmbH

Edgetech’s Super Spacer® flexible foam-based spacer systems acts as energy-efficient warm edge spacers in insulating glass windows. They significantly reduce energy loss to the outside, largely prevent condensation and also contribute to the lifetime of a window. On average, worldwide, more than 300 million metres are sold annually in over 90 countries. 

Edgetech Europe GmbH, located in Heinsberg Germany, is a fully-owned subsidiary of Quanex Building Products Corporation, an industry-leading manufacturer of components sold to Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in the building products industry. Quanex designs and produces energy-efficient fenestration products in addition to kitchen and bath cabinet components, with its head offices in Houston, Texas. Based on turnover Edgetech/Quanex is the world‘s largest manufacturer of spacers. Edgetech Europe GmbH is a sales location for the markets in continental Europe and one of the three worldwide Edgetech production plants, with a total of 480 employees and 17 extruders.

You can obtain additional information about the Super Spacer® systems and the Warm Edge Technology of Edgetech at www.superspacer.com.