A shining icon of caring rises on the streets of New York
W. R. MEADOWS plays role
in New Michael Kors Building for
nonprofit God’s Love We Deliver
What does a famous fashion designer, a comedienne and water/vapor barriers have in common? The answer is the June 2015 opening of the Michael Kors Building, the Manhattan home of the God’s Love We Deliver Kitchen and the Joan Rivers Bakery. This is their first holiday season in the new building. Since 1985 when a hospice volunteer delivered a meal to a dying AIDS patient, God’s Love We Deliver (GLWD) has grown into a non-profit organization that today prepares and delivers over 1.4 million nutritious, individually tailored meals to some 5,200 terminally ill people each year in the New York area. This is the story behind the construction of the organization’s new home, an amazing structure that rose from the shell of their former two-story brick building into a gleaming, six-story icon of « God’s Love » in the SoHo neighborhood of lower Manhattan.
W. R. MEADOWS provided site representation
and support, which was very important to the
project given the complex coordination and
schedule pressures of the building delivery. »
Richard Woodward; Associate Principal, Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel Architects, DPC
An incredible 20-year journey
Over the years as the list of GLWD beneficiaries expanded beyond AIDS patients to include those grappling with cancer, Parkinson’s and other debilitating conditions, GLWD was forced to keep moving into larger facilities from its original home in a church kitchen. Eventually in 1993, the organization successfully bid on a vacant, two-story structure at the corner of Avenue of the Americas and Spring Street. But it would take another 20 years to turn that downtrodden piece of property into their dream home. The key to it all was noted fashion designer, Michael Kors.
With over $5 million in donations plus his long-term involvement, Kors was instrumental in bringing the $28 million project to life and fruition. Joining him along the way was an impressive roster of benefactors and supporters such as leading design manufacturers Knoll, Sub-Zero/Wolf and Brown Jordan. Also key was Joan Rivers. Before the comedienne’s death, Rivers publicly supported GLWD for over 25 years and sat on its Board of Directors for 20 years.
Subway station beneath prevents
complete teardown of original building
Despite generating huge support and necessary funding, bringing the new GLWD building to life was anything but easy. Since the original building sat directly over a very busy subway station, it could not be totally demolished. In fact, the train entrance is embedded in the building.
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« The new construction was formally an alteration in terms of building filings, » said Richard Woodward, Associate Principal with the architect firm of Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel Architects, DPC. « In reality, the only building elements to remain from the original two-story building are the foundations, the cellar, and ground floor slabs and their supporting columns. »
« For waterproofing, » continued Woodward, « construction managers JRM proposed W. R. MEADOWS products as an alternate to our original spec. We agreed, and the line enabled us to have a cost effective sole source for all the waterproofing needs, ensuring system durability and essential warrantees for the not-for-profit’s long future in the building.
« Key areas included subgrade waterproofing working with original systems, exterior façade membranes over sheathing on light gauge framing, waterproofing beneath the topping slab under the commercial kitchen, and also critically beneath the exterior entrance tiles to protect the cellar electrical switch gear below. W. R. MEADOWS provided site representation and support, which was very important to the project given the complex coordination and schedule pressures of the building delivery. »
First to be applied during the subgrade work was the W. R. MEADOWS MEL-ROL waterproofing system, a flexible, versatile, dependable, bituminous, roll-type waterproofing membrane. It is composed of a nominally 56-mil thick layer of polymeric waterproofing membrane on a heavy duty, four-mil thick, cross-laminated polyethylene carrier film.
W. R. MEADOWS system used beneath exterior
finish, no problem for winter application
For system continuity as work on the building rose floor by floor, W. R. MEADOWS vapor/moisture barrier products were used by the general contracting firm of Hayden Building Maintenance.
« After the masons and carpenters constructed the skeleton of the building, we went in and first primed everything with MEL-PRIME W/B, » said Craig Alper, Hayden Project Executive. « We then spray applied MEADOWS AIR-SHIELD LM, reinforcing it around the windows with AIR-SHIELD THRU-WALL FLASHING. »
MEL-PRIME W/B water-based adhesive is a ready-to-use compound for simultaneously preparing and dustproofing vertical, and horizontal surfaces in one easy, economical operation. AIR-SHIELD LM cures to form a tough, seamless, elastomeric membrane, which exhibits excellent resistance to air and moisture transmission, while AIR-SHIELD THRUWALL FLASHING provides self-adhering, concealed flashing for masonry concrete, wood/steel frames, roofing applications and more. AIR SHIELD LIQUID FLASHING membrane material also was used around the window frames in the building.
« Previous products that I used caused a lot clogging with my spray equipment, » said Alper, « but the MEADOWS products seemed to work much better, especially since a lot of our work was done in the middle of winter. By using drum heaters, we were able to keep the AIR-SHIELD viscous and continue spraying all winter long. That was a first for me. »
With the vapor/moisture barrier and insulated substrate in place, the Hayden crew finished the exterior with 12″ x 18″ interlocking Zalmag panels made out of a zinc/aluminum/magnesium composite. « I never used anything like Zalmag before, » said Alper. « It’s an extremely bright architectural product that looks stunning in the middle of a sprawling metropolis. »
An amazing building for an
amazing charitable organization
Opened in June 2015, GLWD’S new 48,500 square-foot home is on track to receive LEED Silver certification for such eco-friendly features as its rooftop herb garden and rainwater collection system. The kitchen was formerly windowless in the cellar. Now named after donors Alexandra and Stephen Cohen, the kitchen and the Joan Rivers bakery are on the second floor and surrounded by walls of glass, reducing the need for energy-consuming lighting. As volunteers dice vegetables in abundant daylight, they can take in the bustling SoHo street activity.
People walking by on the street can see the volunteers helping their community. With over 8,000 volunteers, plus its fulltime staff, the building provides other amenities such as ergonomic office furniture, a cheerful lounge area and a rooftop terrace to make everyone feel welcomed and involved.
Most importantly, the massive 9,600 square-foot kitchen with it’s industrial-sized stoves, ovens, refrigerators and freezers ensures GLWD the capacity to at least double its current output of 1.4 million meals a year.
People walking by on the street can see
the volunteers helping their community.
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