SoHo, New York

Floor-to-ceiling windows and high-quality parquet flooring needed a special profile

It was a challenge to achieve an optically and technically perfect connection between the high-quality parquet flooring and the large window fronts with their rounded corners. Elegant flooring profiles had to be developed that could be attached without using either glue or screws and, at the same time, allow sufficient room for the wood flooring to expand and contract. Within six months, Küberit, the globally recognised specialist for aluminium profiles, developed expansion joint profiles, profiles for the interior and exterior corners, and profile connectors that are specifically designed to meet these unusual structural circumstances. A total of 870 straight aluminium profiles and 300 aluminium profiles constructed to fit the round corner windows were installed, and more than 1,100 parts were milled in order to elegantly clad the mitre cuts and joints.

No screwing, no gluing, just clamping

With its distinctive glass façade, the 30-story building towers above the smaller industrial structures that are so typical of SoHo. They were built in the late 19th century as SoHo became the city’s textile district. The luxury apartment building’s architecture and materials not only augment the historical context but are also visually and technically sophisticated. Below the 20-mm parquet flooring, 10 mm of sound insulation ensures a quiet living atmosphere. At a meeting at the construction site, the site engineer explained the requirements of the architect team: the task was to develop floor profiles with an expansion joint that could be merely set on the flooring while reliably doing their job. In this respect, the roughly 300 rounded corner windows posed a particular challenge. Moreover, a visually attractive solution needed to be found for the transitions between the adjacent profiles.

Neoprene expansion joints fitted by hand

In accordance with the requirements of the architect team, the Küberit development team created design drawings for the construction of mock-ups. For this purpose, the development team modified the Küberit angled profiles – matching them to the precise radius of the rounded windows. For the expansion joints, Küberit chose neoprene in order to satisfy the building’s technical requirements. The neoprene joints were attached to the window frame in such a way that they would press against the frame when the parquet flooring expanded and would fit securely without being screwed or glued on. Then, a visually attractive solution had to be found for the transitions and mitre cuts on the profiles. For this purpose, Küberit milled special aluminium interior and exterior corners as well as connectors that corresponded to the optics and engineering of the angled profiles. The Küberit team built a small device to enable the neoprene expansion joints to be quickly and cleanly attached to the straight and rounded profiles, but they had to be fitted by hand on the corner and connecting parts. The careful planning paid off – all profiles in this custom production fit precisely.