SEFAR VISION Fabric Featured in Skybridge at NYC’s American Copper Buildings


DEPEW, NY…The American Copper Buildings at 626 1st Ave are home to New York City’s first new skybridge in more than 80 years – a 100-foot long structure which employs the beauty of SEFAR Architecture’s VISION fabric interlayer while benefiting from its daylighting and energy management capabilities.

The skybridge, the defining feature of the complex, connects the building’s two towers, which house a combined 760 residences ranging from studios to three-bedroom units. SEFAR's VISION fabric interlayer protects the skybridge and its 60,000 square feet of amenities from the heat and glare of the sun while providing unobstructed views of the city. Barely perceptible from the inside, VISION fabric interlayer utilizes the three-dimensional effects of the fabric to provide a unique depth to the glass façade, which is typically seen as a two-dimensional system. From the outside, the fabric is opaque, offering privacy for building occupants.


«We needed a material that would not affect views from the interior, but would provide stunning visual contrast between the copper of the two towers from the exterior,» explained John Ivanoff, Associate, BuroHappold Engineering. «We introduced Sefar’s VISION fabric to the architect and worked hand-in-hand with them throughout the process; this product was the ideal choice. We were confident that this material would provide the right visual and performance characteristics for this unique project’s needs.» Across the skybridge’s three levels are a 75-foot long indoor lap pool, a lounge, CopperTone – the health club – a juice bar and a Turkish Spa. The space has direct views of major New York City landmarks, including the Empire State Building.

«The Skybridge is a multi-use, triple-level facility, and required a high-performing material that also has impressive visual appeal,» adds Ivanoff. «It was important to have such a versatile product to make sure these different spaces – the pool and additional amenity spaces - would be equally comfortable and beautiful.»


Functionally, SEFAR VISION fabric interlayers improve thermal performance by reducing heat loading and will save building owners additional expense on HVAC. The laminated fabric mesh will also reduce glare by mitigating visual light transmission (VLT), eliminating the need for exterior louvers and interior shading systems, further reducing the capital cost to the owner.

A glass facade – depending on the type of fabric style, UV printed color and time of day – changes between transparency and reflection, bringing new life to this building’s exterior.
The special technical specifications of the SEFAR Architecture VISION fabrics make the facade optically and functionally unique. A variety of colors and designs open up entirely new spaces for visual design. Special features such as individual sun protection, the one-way vision effect to improve views to the exterior, a lower g-value and the reduction of bird impacts increase the decisive added value to the facade.


«We wanted to differentiate the materiality of the skybridge from the copper towers, not only during the day, but at night,» explained Ayumi Sugiyama Director, Cultural Projects with SHoP Architects. «As the finest frit patterns were too visible in our team’s opinion, we selected the SEFAR aluminum mesh interlayer. The aluminum finish faces the exterior and is illuminated by the lighting. The fine mesh is painted black facing the interior and visually recedes, allowing for unimpeded views to the Manhattan skyline and East River and beyond.»


SEFAR VISION fabric interlayers are used to enhance the exterior appearance of glass facades, rainscreens, curtain walls, glass rail, and interior and decorative glass partition wall systems, while preserving the views from the inside. In addition to its aesthetic benefits for these applications, SEFAR assists with thermal modeling to demonstrate how the VISION fabric interlayer reduces solar heat gain and glare.


Leasing launched at one of the American Copper Buildings in Spring 2017, and it is expected that the other building will be ready to welcome tenants later this year. The developer is JDS Development, and architect SHoP Architects designed the structure.

About SEFAR Architecture: SEFAR Architecture is a worldwide manufacturer of monofilament precision and ePTFE yarn fabrics and fabric systems for interior and exterior architectural applications. With comprehensive knowledge in textile architecture, SEFAR has cooperated with experienced lighting technicians and polymer experts to develop a new generation of fabrics for the architectural and design community.