Glas Trösch: glass bridge links the American Copper Buildings

The copper-clad, dual residential towers are reminiscent of a couple dancing, kinked at the hip and linked together by a bridge with a metallic reflecting finish

The familiar look of the New York skyline has now been interrupted by a pair of eye-catching skyscrapers on the banks of the East River. The copper-clad, dual residential towers are reminiscent of a couple dancing, kinked at the hip and linked together by a bridge with a metallic reflecting finish. The glass for the Skybridge, suspended 100 metres in the air, was created by the Swiss specialists Glas Trösch. The company developed double insulated panels, internally laminated with a metallic web for a glossy finish.
Development and zoning laws made designing the American Copper Buildings challenging. However, New York-based architecture firm SHoP Architects along with developers JDS Development successfully devised a project unique in its materiality and shape. The central design element of the building is the Skybridge, a feature that has more than just an aesthetic function as it links both towers and serves as an amenity space for residents.

Copper meets glass
The façade cladding of the 41 and 48-story towers is composed of copper plates, a material that will change from reddish brown to a matt green over time. By contrast, the three-story Skybridge is wrapped entirely in metallic shimmering glass. Positioned in between the two copper towers, the Skybridge produces a captivating, light, filigree effect.

What is already impressive from the outside is equally as remarkable from within. The Skybridge houses a lounge, fitness studio, juice bar and hammam. The highlight remains the lap pool, which allows you to swim from one American Copper Building to the other while overlooking the city. Floor to ceiling windows provide uninterrupted views of the East River and Midtown Manhattan skyline. Stringent demands were inevitably made for the glazing. Glas Trösch and McGrory Glass collaborated to develop double insulating glass specifically for the project. The glass was made to allow for the best views while meeting the building’s strict energy requirements.

Highest bridge in the city
The glass Skybridge, suspended with the help of an imposing steel framework, serves as a unifying piece in the project’s design. It acts as both the structural link between the two skyscrapers and the home of the building’s amenities, bringing the East and West towers together. In addition to a swimming pool and fitness centre, the 5,600 square metre Skybridge offers open spaces where residents can work, play pool, or simply relax while also enjoying stunning views of New York City.

Fine gauze – spectacular views
All three floors of the Skybridge are made up of two laminated safety glass panes. A gauze with a metallic shimmering effect was laminated into the outer glass. This gives the façade an elegant yet unobtrusive sheen. The filigree mesh openings of the gauze allow plenty of daylight into the structure, but also offers basic solar protection. In combination with LUXAR anti-reflective glass from Glas Trösch, the pane structure also ensures internal visibility and transparency. It is glare-free, and even more importantly, low in the level of reflectance, even in the dark. The overall reflection value is just two percent, which not only enhances the view but also performs as a protection from bird strikes. The additional COMBI layer SILVERSTAR SELEKT meets all the energy requirements and offers optimum solar and heat protection as well as high daylight efficiency. The figures speak for themselves, with a total energy transmittance of 26 percent, a Ug value of 1.1 W/m2K and a light transmittance of 44 percent.

Together, the American Copper Buildings in Manhattan form an iconographic structure that combines sophisticated architectural design with intelligent engineering solutions. The Skybridge linking the two towers provides residents with the opportunity to watch the sunset glare-free, whether that may be from the poolside, on the running machine, or while playing a game of pool in the lounge.