Flagship Retail Renovation at Tiffany’s

Tiffany & Co.’s iconic flagship retail store located in the historic 1940 Art Moderne building on Fifth Avenue is undergoing a holistic, multi-year renovation. McLaren Engineering Group’s construction engineering division has applied several innovative solutions to support the luxury brand’s reimaged upgrades. In particular, the previous 1980 building extension that once housed office space, is being replaced with a new tri-level modern addition designed with double-height and column-free spaces wrapped in two different glass facades — creating more interest from the street while maintaining energy efficiency.

The vertical renovation and rebuilding of the top three floors required out-of-the-box construction support. Taking space, time, and budget into consideration, McLaren’s construction team turned to unconventional methods of crane engineering to figure out how to work within NYC’s tight building space constraints. The solution was as iconic as the retail brand itself: a crane would pick up another crane in order to deposit it atop the Tiffany & Co. building on 57th Street.

The McLaren Difference: Applied Ingenuity

McLaren engineered the lift of an LTM 1130 mobile crane onto the roof of Tiffany’s utilizing a giant 500-ton Liebherr LTM 1500 crane. The fully assembled LTM 1500 (utilized the y-guy superlift kit) required eight trucks delivering over 363,800 lbs of counterweight. As a result, McLaren’s construction division also provided the crane engineering for a Tadano TR450XL that assisted in putting the LTM 1500 together. With time and budget in mind, we provided crane plans, permitting, and the structural engineering necessary for the lift itself and to support the crane once placed.

The LTM 1130 (130-ton crane) weighing approximately 205,000 lbs, fully counterweighted, was lifted seven stories over the streets of Manhattan to begin work on the new three-story (8th, 9th, and 10th-floors) glass-walled addition that will sit atop the existing seven-story limestone-and-granite historic building.

During the pre-bid process, McLaren worked with the contractor, Orange County Ironworks (OCI) vetting a geometry and capacity checks concept for the cranes and then a preliminary look into building reserve capacity. This solution saved several months on the project schedule, allowing OCI to work around the clock through Holiday Embargo (NYC Prohibits cranes and work in streets in most areas of the city the week before Thanksgiving until the week after New Year), saving the project millions of dollars.

McLaren put together a total of 7 different crane plans (5 CN Applications with NYC DOB) for this project, designed rigging to lift the crane, designed rooftop dunnage to support the crane on the roof and analyzed the building for imposed loads. This ultimately lead to reinforcement design of a couple of existing building columns.

Additionally, McLaren supported the contractor with all connection design work for the permanent steel on this flagship retail renovation.