Kips Bay Towers Condominiums | Manhattan | facade
Kips Bay Towers Condominiums | Manhattan | detail of windows
Kips Bay Towers Condominiums | Manhattan | window wall mock-up
Kips Bay Towers Condominiums | Manhattan | restoration detail and sight line for new window
Kips Bay Towers Condominiums | Manhattan | detail of new window at hopper

Facade Restoration & Repair | Kips Bay Towers Condominiums | Manhattan | 1961

Steel-framed structure with cast-in-place and precast concrete

Kips Bay Towers is a residential complex designed by architect I.M Pei in 1961. As a departure from the popular steel-and-glass architecture of the 1950’s and 1960’s, I.M Pei employed a load-bearing cast-in-place concrete façade, giving the building its Brutalist aesthetic. The unique inset windows are significant to the modern façade with its rounded corners, setting the building apart from other Brutalist buildings.

Kamen Tall Architects was hired to investigate and design window replacements for the large window-wall units, which fit in the curved, cast-concrete window openings, as part of a complex-wide window repair and replacement program. Windows, frames, screens, transoms, and mechanical systems were designed to fit into the window-wall configuration without changing sight lines or altering the façade. The replacement windows were coordinated with the interior fit outs and updated energy code requirements. The new, highly efficient windows also required an air-pressure neutralization system to be designed for the buildings.

Although the window replacement project was not actualized, KTA designed replacement windows and created full-scale mock-ups that were produced by three different manufacturers.