Zaha Hadid Steel Metal Panel Facade

Designed by world-renowned architect, Zaha Hadid, 520 W. 28th Street is the iconic 18-story luxury mixed-use building located along the High Line in the heart of New York City. The development was her only residential building in New York and one of the last projects before her death. The sleek metallic exterior of laser-cut stainless-steel trim features curvilinear geometric motifs. This unique appearance is created by a combination of distinctive stainless-steel fabrications, an aluminum-glazed curtainwall and storefront systems around the building.

Facade Engineering

McLaren Engineering Group provided facade engineering services and design consultation for the Zaha Hadid development of the stainless-steel panels and connections to the building, as well as the design of the mullion connections. McLaren engineered the exterior panel slab anchorages, the various glass panels, the glass balustrade and its support shoes and rails, and the entrance canopy at the north storefront. McLaren coordinated the fabrication welding procedures review to provide a cleaner aesthetic on the finished panel, while maintaining the structural integrity of the welded seams.


Adjustable shoe mounted laminated curved tempered glass railing were used for the exterior balconies. An extruded top railing was used to provide displacement continuity between panes to prevent finger pinching and seal the top edge improving composite performance.

Movement Studies

Detailed movement studies were performed to verify the joint sizing and support conditions required to accommodate differential movement due to thermal effects, building sway, and both long and short-term slab deflections at the support locations. This detailed review was performed simultaneously with comprehensive coordination of the installation sequencing to ensure that the custom connection details were erectable within acceptable tolerance limits – while still behaving as necessary to accommodate the differential movements noted above. During construction, McLaren provided survey services in order to accurately locate the anchor points, allowing for early detection of significant discrepancies from the design conditions.

Award Winning

This project tied for ENR’s New York’s Best Residential/Hospitality Project in 2018.