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pico44 Dec 5, 2018 5:26 AM

Now was that so hard You philistine Snohetta punks?

NYguy Dec 5, 2018 6:01 PM

I think it's nice. I didn't mind the other version though.


NYguy Feb 12, 2019 9:22 PM

LPC approves Snøhetta’s new design for 550 Madison Avenue
Architects will revitalize the building’s foreboding POPS with an airy glass canopy

By Caroline Spivack
Feb 12, 2019


The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission paved the way for Snøhetta to partially redesign Philip Johnson’s Postmodern skyscraper at 550 Madison Avenue Tuesday with a vote backing the contested plan.

After more than an hour of discussion, the commission unanimously voted to approve the proposed changes with a handful of minor modifications to ensure the building’s materials remain uniform and to keep the alterations in line with the structure’s overall character.

“The proposal mitigates and, maybe incrementally, gets back to the spirit of the original intent in that it brightens up the store front, it sets them back, instead of sort of a bleak view on Madison Avenue it gives you a sense of more open quality,” said Sarah Carroll, the chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. “And given where we are today, I think that [the proposal’s] steps are the appropriate steps.”


The biggest change to the property, which was granted landmark status in July 2018, is the privately-owned public space (POPS) at the ground level. Nick Anderson, a senior architect at Snøhetta who is working on the redevelopment, described the space as “tall, skinny, and dark” but Snøhetta’s new plan would completely overhaul the space with an airy glass canopy and seating for more than 260 people.

“It has always been sort of a dark and bizarre space for me and so I feel this new space enhances that wonderful building that I love,” Commissioner Michael Devonshire, who is the director of conservation at Jan Hird Pokorny Associates, Inc. “It is delicate enough that it actually enhances the Phillip Johnson construct for me.”

To create that new space, builders will remove some of the existing retail and dismantle an annex that was added when Sony bought the building in the 1990s. When all is said the done the space will boast 21,300 square feet, 42 new trees, eight bike racks, and seven public restrooms, according to the building’s owner The Olayan Group.

The plan also calls for revamping the interior—which is outside of the LPC’s purview. Additionally, the building’s entire mechanical systems including HVAC and elevators will be replaced with eco-friendly upgrades in efforts of achieving LEED platinum, Wired, and WELL certifications—prestigious sustainability standards. Overall, the building will go from accommodating fewer than 1,000 employees to, eventually, housing some 3,000 workers.

Now that the proposal has earned the LPC’s approval, exterior work on the Madison Avenue building can more forward. The office tower is on track to reopen in 2020, according to The Olayan Group.

“With modern interiors, a world-class public open space, and preserved façade, the building will once again attract top companies to East Midtown,” The Olayan Group said in a statement.

jsbrook Feb 13, 2019 1:37 AM

I like it a lot. Much better than the first attempt.

NYguy Feb 13, 2019 3:29 AM

I think it's a win for the area.

chris08876 Oct 23, 2019 2:52 AM

Renderings revealed for 550 Madison’s renovated lobby: The office tower’s $300M repositioning is expected to wrap up next year


Olayan Group and its partners can see the finish line for 550 Madison Avenue’s major rehab.

The local arm of the Saudi Arabian conglomerate has released renderings showing the new lobby, designed by Gensler. The central feature of the new entrance is a large rear window that frames a garden in the rear of the building.

The lobby is about halfway done and the project is on track to wrap up by next year, according to a release. The building’s exterior was landmarked in August 2018, and the latest design proposal for the tower’s exterior was approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in February.

“We cannot wait to introduce Olayan’s brand of luxury hospitality for commercial tenants to New York next year,” said Erik Horvat, managing director of real estate at Olayan. CBRE is handling leasing.

Olayan bought the building, designed by renowned architect Philip Johnson and John Burgee, for $1.4 billion in 2016 from Chetrit Group and David Bistricer’s Clipper Equity. At the time, the former headquarters for AT&T, and later Sony Corporation of America, had been vacated to make way for a condo conversion.

Olayan partnered with U.K.-based developer and asset manager Chelsfield and later RXR Realty to execute a $300 million makeover of the tower into a multi-tenant office building, though the project was complicated by a contentious landmarking process.

JMKeynes Oct 23, 2019 3:37 AM

I love the garden. The fountain is beautiful and huge.

chris08876 Oct 23, 2019 4:15 AM


I wonder who make the decisions on the people that go in these renderings. Like that lady with the coffee giggling, and that lady to her left looking at her in a very Real Housewives of NJ manner. My NJ instincts tell me that a quarrel might arise!

JMKeynes Oct 23, 2019 2:18 PM


Originally Posted by chris08876 (Post 8726395)

I wonder who make the decisions on the people that go in these renderings. Like that lady with the coffee giggling, and that lady to her left looking at her in a very Real Housewives of NJ manner. My NJ instincts tell me that a quarrel might arise!

The chick on the left has an amazing rack. :cheers::cheers:

Boerumer Oct 23, 2019 10:06 PM

Oh good, they decided not to full on assault the place, just knock it around a bit.

dropdeaded209 Oct 24, 2019 8:30 AM

ripping out the lobby and replacing it with a "gilded hospital waiting room chic" aesthetic counts as an assault. nice to know the NYC design community is largely fine with garbage, tho.

Submariner Oct 24, 2019 3:13 PM


Originally Posted by JMKeynes (Post 8726602)
The chick on the left has an amazing rack. :cheers::cheers:

Are you getting a One Vanderbilt?

Submariner Oct 24, 2019 3:14 PM

Turned out alright, actually. The tall, large windows should add quite a bit of light to that part of town.

JMKeynes Oct 24, 2019 3:21 PM


Originally Posted by Submariner (Post 8727951)
Are you getting a One Vanderbilt?


chris08876 Dec 21, 2019 3:18 PM

The Olayan Group Reveals Snøhetta-Designed Public Spaces At 550 Madison Avenue In Midtown East


Snøhetta has revealed renderings of its design for the public spaces surrounding 550 Madison Avenue in Midtown East, Manhattan. The new garden will increase the plaza’s scope to more than 21,000 square feet with the addition of a café, planters, seating, and public bathrooms. The iconic Philip Johnson-designed commercial tower is currently undergoing a major renovation designed by Gensler for a consortium of developers including The Olayan Group, RXR Realty, and Chelsfield.

The space is partially enclosed by an elegant slanted roof comprised mostly of glass to promote the flow of natural light into the garden.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of re-envisioning the future of this historic site, by imagining a precedent for New York’s changing demands on privately owned public spaces,” said Michelle Delk, partner and director of landscape architecture at Snøhetta. “A contrast to the urbanity of midtown, this new garden complements the adjacent tower while drawing upon the vibrancy of the neighborhood and the natural history of the region, offering visitors an immersive respite in the city.”

Much of the space will have a diverse assortment of plants including annuals, perennials, and evergreens that thrive in the Northeastern climate. Approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission earlier this year, the open space is currently under its final review with the Department of City Planning.

chris08876 Jan 13, 2020 2:10 PM

The public garden was approved by the planning commission.

Design-mind Jan 18, 2020 10:57 PM

The public Garden...

JMKeynes Jan 19, 2020 2:18 AM

This is going to be amazing. NY has the best pocket parks.

I hope that 270 Parks’ new garden/public plaza is as nice as this.

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