520 West 28th, New York

Zaha Hadid Architects design their first condo building using WICONA facades in New York

Organic Fluidity is the key feature of the building, an unmistakable hallmark of Hadid


  • Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects
  • Fabricator: Stahlbau Pichler
  • All photos - © Hufton & Crown

The curved facade design of the 520 West 28th building, located in the West Chelsea neighbourhood, famous as the main artistic and cultural district in New York City, makes it stand out from the rest of the rectangular blocks that are so characteristic of Manhattan. The prestigious Iraqi-British architect and Pritzker Prize winner Zaha Hadid designed this complex of 39 apartments with volumes inspired by nature, giving it dynamism and a very distinctive identity. In addition to the apartments, the complex has common areas for entertainment, a car park, an indoor pool and spa, and a sculpture garden.

Curved aluminium building

WICONA played a decisive role in the building's facade since it was necessary to develop a bespoke aluminium solution adapted to the building's design. Using WICONA's tailored development, Stahlbau Pichler, the facade specialist, has produced a specific system which fulfils the architect's requirements. 

The most outstanding feature of the 5000m² facade is the curves that link the 11 storeys of the building, creating a constant sensation of movement while giving each apartment privacy. 

close up of aluminium building

The bespoke WICONA solution was a customised, unitised facade with motorised parallel-outward-vents, a modular aluminium facade system for large glazed areas with structural glass panels framed by the system exterior component. Thermal insulation of the aluminium profiles is provided by PA66.6 polyamide thermal break bars reinforced with fibreglass. 

curved edge of aluminium building

The openings of the system can be Italian or parallel (PAF) with a manual or motorised outward opening system. A custom-made solution was developed for the project to hide the drive motors, allowing them to operate unnoticed, while still making them accessible for proper maintenance. An increase in interior comfort has been created by enhancing profile insulation performance and custom elements to improve acoustic attenuation. 

System characteristics allow construction of large dimensions while ensuring that the demanding safety requirements are met. In total, 710 units of flat glass (4700m²) and 40 units of curved glass (300m²) have been installed.

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