252 East 57th Street is a 60-story luxury mixed-use tower in Midtown Manhattan. The building’s residential program is organized with 173 rental units on the lower floors and 93 high-end, two- to five-bedroom condominiums on the 26th floor and above. Residential amenities include elegant porte cochère, automated parking, a double-height residents’ lounge, and a private spa with a 75-foot indoor swimming pool. The commercial component of the development includes retail and a public school. The building anticipates LEED Silver certification.

GMS served as the building envelope/façade consultant. The project was developed as a public-private partnership, led by Worldwide Group and Rose Associates, venturing with the Education Construction Fund. Skidmore Owings & Merrill and Daniel Romualdez designed the building and Lend Lease served as general contractor. Benson Industries were responsible for the curtain wall system.



A distinctive facade features a glazing geometry that employs inversions in the exterior wall to give the building a dynamic presence. The curtain wall includes inverted bay windows extending the full height of the building on all four sides, forming a fluted shape that cuts into the perimeter. The curved windows also function in defining and separating living spaces by swooping into the floor plan.


Each floor is unique and all the curved glass units, manufactured in Italy, are slightly individual. Since it would not be feasible to bend the glass in so many directions over the entire height of the building, the taper of the curve is not quite continuous: the glass units are laterally curved, but vertically straight and step back at each level to produce the same visual conical effect. The offsets are gradual at the base of the building and more dramatic toward the top.

The curved glass from Italy, flat glass from Columbia and aluminum extrusions from Thailand were assembled in Singapore before being shipped to New York for installation.



At the north and south sides of the building, the curvature wraps around to form balconies. To achieve waterproofing, the continuous curtain wall is disjoined at balcony locations, replaced by a window wall system, and the balconies act as rain screens. The balconies begin 3 feet deep at the base and cantilever 8 feet towards the top.




The project is expected to obtain a TCO later this year, with the base commercial tenants including Whole Foods, HSBC, the High School of Architecture and Design, and PS 59.

GMS Team:

Joseph Blanchfield, Achim Hermes, David Shea, William Hutch, Suzanne Smith, Miguel Lopez