The 46-story aluminum, glass, and masonry curtain wall Crowne Plaza Hotel, built in 1989, occupies a prominent position in Times Square, at the corner of 49th Street and Broadway. Owner Pyramid Hotel Group, LLC and manager Grubb & Ellis Company elected to realize the full potential of the location by undergoing a high-profile building renovation.
Beginning with waterproofing, structural engineering, and facade detailing services, Hoffmann Architects + Engineers acted as consultants on various aspects of the building overhaul. From roof and skylight repairs to sub-cellar and porte-cochere waterproofing to structural design for a restaurant renovation and for dramatic interior light fixtures, Hoffmann was involved in construction detailing throughout the project. The renovation culminated in installation of a new, innovative video screen on the Broadway facade.
When the project was completed, the Crowne Plaza became one of just three buildings in North America to employ Mediamesh® technology. The system uses a steel mesh fabric with interwoven LED lights, which are connected to media controls. Synchronized illumination renders animated text and video onto the screen. When the screen is off, the facade behind it is visible. When illuminated, the screen permits unimpeded views through the back side of the mesh.
This pioneering technology, the first of its kind in New York, demanded uncommon structural visualization and modeling. Hoffmann’s engineering team designed the frame and support network for the massive 30’ x 36’ screen. The Broadway facade reconstruction added not only a new front entrance, but also over 1,000 sf of new retail space. Roof design, modifications of the existing curtain wall, and matching and replacement of granite panels were all part of the ambitious renovation.
Working closely with design firm Gensler and with the owner and management firm, Hoffmann achieved a bold, structurally sound facade that met both practical and aesthetic objectives.