The 2016 “Reimagine a New York City Icon” competition, organised by Metals in Construction Magazine set out a mandate for entries to reimagine 200 Park Avenue with “a resource-conserving, eco-friendly” enclosure—one that creates a highly efficient envelope with the lightness and transparency sought by today’s office workforce—while preserving and enhancing the aesthetic of the building’s heritage. The competition had more than a 100 submissions from across the world, and six winning proposals were awarded joint honors. The “Farm Follows Fiction” proposal aims to re-clad and represent the MetLife building as a gem at the heart of New York City. It offers a striking, high-performing facade that reduces energy use, and contributes to the team’s net zero carbon footprint goal. The bold graphic-novel style of the proposal playfully narrates how the MetLife building is transformed into a collective resource for the Midtown community, becoming the world’s tallest farm. The collaborative design effort was led by LemayLAB, with Sefaira and Ecosystems providing performance and sustainability expertise. Sefaira was used to analyse the daylight and energy performance of the proposed retrofit. The analysis demonstrated that the proposed facade would offer natural daylight within the useable floor space for at least 80% of the occupied hours (annual average). Sefaira analysis was also used to demonstrate that the design would achieve a drastic reduction in mechanical ventilation and annual space heating loads, and that it could successfully incorporate natural ventilation for most of the year. During the unveiling of the winners, the jury commented that the Lemay proposal was inspiring and clearly visionary, i.e., “a project for the future of building”, and an essential project that exudes the level of innovation required to achieve the Architecture 2030 Challenge. Congratulations to the team and all the winners! View the complete submission here.
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