The innovative cable façade of the new 33rd Street Penn Station Entrance in New York City is realized by seele.

105t

primary steel construction

15m

high portal frame

139

double curved glass panels

60

double curved mild steel panels

a special cable façade for the new 33rd penn station entrance in new york

Penn Station is considered one of the most important train stations in New York City. Approx. 650,000 people use the junction at the famous Madison Square Garden every day. A new main entrance on 33rd Street/7th Avenue was built to accommodate the high passenger frequency.
SOM's design included a 277sqm and 12m high canopy with an anticlastic cable façade. The primary supporting structure is a steel structure in the form of a 14.6m high, A-shaped frame inclined at 45 degrees which creates the entrance. Another component is a circumferential, oval edge beam of approx. 30m length and approx. 13m width for the floor connection.

  • Since the steel structure is completely exposed, there are special requirements for its manufacture, especially with regard to the surface quality (AESS 4). In addition, numerous fixtures are integrated, such as for water supply or lighting technology.
    The cable façade is situated between the portal frame and the edge beam and consists of double-curved glass laminates fixed with point clamp fittings. Both the portal frame and its head point are glazed with laminated safety glass panels.
    The design continues in the opening to the concourse: 60 double-curved, linearly arranged mild steel panels, suspended from a substructure, form the cladding for the oval parapet. Its funnel shape creates a flowing transition upwards to the canopy, resulting in a seemingly infinite perspective.
    On 01 January 2021 the entrance was opened as the “East End Gateway” together with the Moynihan Train Hall.

    Header image: © Field Condition

  • 33rd Street Penn Station Entrance steel and glass cable façade made by seele.
  • New East End Gateway Entrance at 33rd Street Penn Station made by seele.
  • Anticlastic cable façade made by seele
33rd Street Penn Station Entrance steel and glass cable façade made by seele.
© Field Condition
New East End Gateway Entrance at 33rd Street Penn Station made by seele.
© Field Condition
Anticlastic cable façade made by seele
© Field Condition

High demands on the steel construction

Due to the architecturally desired shape of the façade, the longitudinal cables had to be pretensioned in order to achieve sufficient pretensioning in the transverse cables. As a result, the steel frame had to be manufactured with a precamber. During assembly, the cables were first extended with adapter pieces and then tensioned to bring the frame into its final shape. On site, the individual components were connected to each other at joints using solid screws and end plates. Due to the high demands placed on the design of the steel structure (AESS 4), the surfaces and weld seams required high-precision machining. The inlets for the stainless steel cables, which were difficult to access, posed a further challenge: In addition to these, other components such as cable ducts for lighting, which run inside the steel structure, also had to be taken into account.

The steel structure for the edge beam was welded at seele pilsen. © seele
The complexity of the steel structure can be seen inside a welded component. © seele
Before the installation in New York, the steelwork was build up at seele pilsen in Czech Republic, in order to test the pretensioning of the cable structure. © GONO / Petr Nový
For the anticlastic cable façade, the steel structure had to be manufactured with a precamber. After installation, the portal frame has an inclination of 45 degrees. © seele

Credits

Client Metropolitan Transportation Authority – MTA Construction & Development
Main contractor Skanska
Architect AECOM / SOM
Date of completion 2020
Scope of seele supply
  • 105t primary steel construction, consisting of
    • 15m high portal frame
    • 45 running meters circumferential edge beam
    • with integrated LED spotlights and LED strips
  • cable façade
    • 139 double-curved, chemically toughened glass panels in varying sizes
    • outermost SGP interlayer printed with dot pattern
    • stainless steel cables
    • stainless steel point clamp fittings 
  • glazed portal frame (laminated safety glass for front and top)
  • soffit cladding made of 60 double curved mild steel panels and substructure