The Emerald


Case Study
BAM South

Brooklyn, NY

Architect: Ten Arquitectos, Ismael Leyva Architects, and Enrique Norton

Product: Neopariés® crystallized glass ceramic panels

Neopariés shines in BAM south tower

In the heart of Brooklyn’s cultural district rises the new, 32-story Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) South tower. Designed by Ten Arquitectos’ Enrique Norten with executive architect Ismael Leyva, the slender mixed-use building uses a porous design and an expansive, terraced plaza to draw people into the vibrant civic space and enliven an underused section of the district.

The building’s base provides street-level entry into retail areas. A stepped plaza follows its form, extending upwards to allow for easy outdoor programming while drawing pedestrians towards the 50,000 square foot cultural space on the tower’s lower floors. This designated area holds a museum, dance studio, branch of the local public library and room for the expansion of the BAM cinemas. The remainder of the tower contains rental apartments, 20 percent of which are allocated for affordable housing.

As a mixed-use building with an active, urban plaza in the most populous borough of New York, BAM South is poised to host a high volume of foot traffic on and around its grounds. During the planning phase, this brought to light the need for a cladding material along the building’s base that would be durable enough to withstand frequent pedestrian use and New York’s tough weather while also meeting the design team’s aesthetic aspirations.

According to the firm’s website, Ten Arquitectos envisioned a façade that would pick up the colors of the thriving streetscape and put the focus where it should be—“on the life of the city.” A faceted metal façade helps accomplish this mission on the tower portion. To reflect the culture of the popular district on the building’s ground-floor, the exterior podium shines with 15,000 sq. ft. of 5/8” (15 mm) white Neopariés® crystallized glass ceramic panels from Technical Glass Products (TGP).

Neopariés panels have a bright, smooth and high-sheen surface, which reflects light and, in the case of BAM South, helps mirror the activity of the surrounding streets. The panels also have a high resistance to staining, pollution and graffiti to ensure lasting beauty, all of which are critical benefits for a building set in the middle of a public plaza.

On the performance front, the crystallized glass ceramic panels have a low thermal expansion rate and are lighter and stronger than natural stone. This makes them an ideal cladding material for a building subject to New York’s harsh weather conditions. The building team installed the Neopariés panels over a 5/8” reveal, open-joint rain screen on a “back-cut” Fischer anchor that is mounted on an engineered strut support system. This design allowed the panels to be installed in a true rain screen application while providing a clean, modern aesthetic. Furthermore, since Neopariés is available in large, flat or curved panels, the design team was able to form a curve around the convex nose of the podium without losing façade continuity.

To ensure all project goals were met, the engineering team at TGP, in partnership with the design team, modeled and constructed the BAM South base podium façade using Autodesk REVIT Building Information Modeling (BIM) software.

Learn more about TGP's Neopariés crystallized glass ceramic panels.