Clear views of Manhattan from new Rockefeller Center viewing platform
Seventy stories above Manhattan, an observation deck at the Rockefeller Center offers a thrilling and panoramic view of New York City.
Large, freestanding balustrades of laminated glass containing SentryGlas® ionoplast interlayer key to the success of the newly-reopened "Top of the Rock" viewing platform at the Rockefeller Center in New York City. As one visitor said: "You feel absolutely safe, yet on a clear day you can see forever!"
On 1st November 2005, the renovated and muchanticipated 'Top of the Rock' observation deck at the top of New York City's famous Rockefeller Center re-opened to the public. The centerpiece of the project lies with the reopening of an extraordinary city observatory, some 260 m (853 ft) above the sidewalk of 30, Rockefeller Plaza, on the 67th-70th floors of the building. The observation deck was first opened in 1933 but had been closed to the public since the 1980s. It has now been fully revitalized using 465 m2 (5,000 ft2) of large, freestanding panels or balustrades of laminated glass containing SentryGlas® ionoplast interlayer that specialists say are at least 20 percent thinner than any other glass construction tested. Thomas Furman, project manager with SLCE Architects of New York City said: "The objective in using these unique and very large laminated glass balustrades was to provide a safe and secure viewing experience for all visitors to the observation deck and the Rockefeller Center, while maintaining the thrilling experience and expansive, 360-degree views afforded from this unique and historic viewing platform, located 70 stories above Manhattan.
"The laminated glass installation consists of freestanding panels, cantilevered vertically up to three meters (10 feet) tall, with all supports and connections hidden below the walking surface of the roof. There are no clips or connections between the panels except at the corners. This allows the laminated safety glass assembly to be a perfect backdrop or frame for the views, as opposed to an obstacle. "The decision to use laminated glass with SentryGlas® came out of discussions with glazing contractor W&W Glass, LLC of Nanuet (NY), and exterior wall consultant Israel Berger & Associates of New York. They advised us that the use of SentryGlas® would solve many important challenges regarding the structural complexity of the laminated glass panels, our desire for absolute clarity of vision and the need for minimal reflectivity.