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All-season protection in Times Square

Projects | July 5, 2024 | By: Bruce Wright, FAIA

The Times Square Edition hotel, a new building in New York City, was designed to have a ninth-floor terrace and is set back in keeping with the other properties on Times Square. The Witkoff Group, which developed the property, wanted to create an all-season amenity especially well-suited for the renowned New Year’s Eve parties surrounding Times Square, as this terrace overlooks the “ball drop” area.

“Since the FAR [floor area ratio] was maxed out for the hotel development,” says Nic Goldsmith, FAIA, lead designer on the project, “using a demountable steel frame and membrane cladding to create a ‘mid-doors’ strategy allowed for a flexible event space that could be both heated and cooled.” Goldsmith says the terrace acts as an outdoor space in the warm months and an enclosed and heated space when needed in the cooler months.

A series of posts demark the space and provide support for cone-shaped fabric “capitals” that flare upward like umbrellas to meld with a translucent fabric roof. A segmented clear skylight cleaves the center of the roof, and the space is surrounded by glass walls providing views to the surrounding buildings on three sides; the fourth side is the hotel.

“An ePTFE fabric was used for the umbrella-like elements and clear ETFE panels were inserted between them to increase daylighting and provide skylit dramatic views overhead,” Goldsmith says. “The sidewalls are custom glass door enclosures that can open up on all sides to make an outdoor space and the pilasters are clad in the ePTFE fabric to match the roof.”

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