Manhattanhenge / E 29th Manhattan, New York

Our project is a transformative intervention on an existing 6 story 30,000 sf early XXth century structure located within Manhattan’s Commissioner city grid. The ideas for the innovative restoration effloresce in a new environmentally performative and digitally-fabricated envelope. Being located on a narrow street – mostly oriented East West, the design conjures a material and geometrical system that circumvents an existing facade steel structure to establish an oblique longitudinal relation with the street. The new oblique geometry allows for direct sun access – insolation- as well as a series of visual relations between the interior and the streetscape.  In addition, the new envelope provides high performance insulation, and elective ventilation and porosity. The envelope was conceived as a system of panels that can be further reconfigured by rotation and mirroring. The metal and insulation panels are built by a digital process of cutting and folding. In such a manner, the capacity of the design software to flatten three-dimensional geometry closely aligned with the fabrication protocols. The folding of the panels hence operates at a variety of scales: the folding provides the necessary rigidity to a thin material, negotiates the connections to the existing structure sidestepping old columns, sites the project in the urban context of a narrow street, and ultimately affords a solar and environmental connection. In so doing, the design recalls the Manhattanhenge phenomenon – the bi-annual alignment of the Manhattan’s Commissioner’s grid with the sunset and sunrise- and prolongs it further throughout the seasons.

Category Institutional
Owner / Client : Sakow roperties
Year of Completion 2021
Size 30,000 sq ft
Budget – Withheld
Team Members – Julio Salcedo, Carlos Torres, Murilo Machado, Alberto Martínez, KenHo Lee, TingTing Jin, Megan Roy, Elizabeth Mac Willie

Arquitectos: Scalar Architecture


Julio Salcedo – principal,
Murilo Machado Candido – Associate

(646) 342 2244
180 Varick Street, Suite 1514
New York, NY 10014

scalar Architecture is an award winning international design firm based in New York City. As the term indicates, scalar Architecture operates at a variety of scales collaborating with allied key experts. The fruits of these collaborations are all embracing projects that garner accolades for their transformative solutions, such as the International First Prize for the development of Hamar, Norway, and the Lasso House, which won the Architectural League Young Architect’s Award. In all its ventures, scalar Architecture provides an expansive deployment of architecture and its registers of program, geometry, context, aesthetics and form.

scalar’s residential experience includes dwellings and housing in Spain, Maine, and New York as well as large scale sustainable developments in Guatemala and Costa Rica.  With expertise in hospitality and commercial projects, scalar’s work also includes hotels in Nicaragua and Hounduras, and US restaurants Recess and Flurt.  Institutional projects include commissioned designs for the Woodstock Association Museum, the offices of the Dean at Cornell School’s of Architecture and an ongoing 100,000 sf medical building in New York.

scalar Architecture collaborates with multiple international partners, including Regional, a joint venture developing hotels in Central America.  Urban and landscape collaborations include the re-development of Hamar, and chosen entries for Build a Better Burb and Elemental Chile, as well as a large cross-programmed sustainable park in Madrid, Spain.

scalar Architecture’s Principal is Julio Salcedo, Licensed Arch. US / EU, LEEP AP.  Born in Madrid, Salcedo holds a B.A. in architecture and sculpture from Rice University, and a Master of Architecture from Harvard University.  He has taught at Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, Syracuse University, Cornell University, and currently at City College as an Associate Professor. In addition to the book Generic Specific Continuum, Salcedo has written numerous articles about the work of scalar Architecture.

Prior to launching his own office, Julio Salcedo worked for Pritzker prize winner Rafael Moneo. He also worked at SOM in New York as Senior Designer for the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, and for Rick Cook of COOKFOX.  He has been a juror for international and national competitions, including AIA awards and the Kay e Sante nan Ayiti Housing Competition in Haiti.

The work of scalar Architecture has been exhibited at the Farnsworth Museum, and has been widely published in both the US (Architectural Record, The Architect’s Newspaper, Interior Design, Princeton Architectural Press, Breathe, House Beautiful) and abroad in Canada, Germany, Norway, Belgium, Holland, Spain, Thailand, Japan, and China.