Nordstrom’s first flagship store in New York City primarily occupies a new building spanning 57th and 58th Streets and as well as several buildings existing buildings along Broadway in mid-town Manhattan. JCDA’s unique “Waveforms Façade” contributes a more generous volumetric experience of light within the site’s constrained public realm.
The store’s lofted ceilings and entirely glass façade represent the department store’s desire to create a new kind of experience for shoppers. The waveform of the curtain wall serves performance objectives such as allowing for the oversize glass units to span the floor to floor plates without the need for vertical mullions, while the volumes allow for a program that merges civic and commercial goals.
The challenges, in terms of technology, material, and design, lay in producing four-layer laminated insulating glass with the tight radii needed for the curves. Additionally, the curves result in differential solar heat absorption, which affects the panel edge stresses, while wind and seismic loads mean that the facade must tolerate a certain degree of movement.
The requirement for rigidity together with flexibility was eventually satisfied by developing a lateral slip joint within the curved profile. The result is a visually striking façade that combines structure and light to create elegant interior retail spaces.
More from the Facade Engineers | schlaich bergermann partner
A curved glass façade creates the public face of the new Nordstrom flagship store in New York City, located at the podium of a 95-story residential tower. Its undulating façade, designed by James Carpenter Design Associates, gives the effect of transparent waves of glass. On the interior, the double-curved glass panels create alternating convex and concave spaces within the store, adding unique spaces for shopping and display.
The story-high insulated glass panels are structurally self-supporting and rely on the curvature of the panels to create a geometrical stiffness that allows the glass units to span between floors without structural mullions or glass fins behind.
Images by laurian ghinițoiu
Location: New York City, NY, USA
Architect: James Carpenter Design Associates, New York, NY
Cooperation: Surface Design Group (façade consultant), Adamson Associates (architect of record), WSP (tower structural engineer)
Client: Nordstrom, Inc. Seattle, WA
Contractor: Permasteelisa (façade contractor), Cricursa (glass manufacturer)
Facade engineer: schlaich bergermann partner
Awards: 2020 NYCxDESIGN Award, Winner of category Building Facade