A partnership between L&L Holding Co. and Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LBHI) announced the selection of Foster + Partners, led by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Lord Norman Foster, to design an iconic 650,000-sf office tower to be constructed at 425 Park Avenue in the famed Plaza District of Manhattan. The firm will work with the partnership to create an enduring landmark that befits its exclusive location yet is also of its current time and place.
Foster + Partners was selected at the conclusion of an international architects competition, a six-month process involving many of the world’s most acclaimed architecture firms. In addition to Foster + Partners, the partnership selected Rogers, Stirk, Harbour + Partners (Lord Richard Rogers), OMA (Rem Koolhaas) and Zaha Hadid Architects to participate in the final, conceptual design phase of the competition over the recent summer.
L&L Holding Chairman and CEO David Levinson also announced that he and Lord Foster will make a presentation on the conceptual design during the Municipal Arts Society’s 3rd Annual Summit for New York City on Oct. 19. The two-day summit, which starts Oct. 18, will also feature an exhibit featuring the 425 Park Avenue design concepts that were presented by each of the four finalists in the competition.
“We are grateful to each of the firms for the thoughtfulness and creativity they demonstrated throughout the process,” said Levinson. “There is no doubt that each group was fully capable of helping us realize our vision of a 425 Park Avenue tower that redefines the modern office environment while also respecting and enhancing the timeless allure of the Plaza district.”
Levinson added, “We are looking forward to beginning a process in which we translate Foster’s brilliant concept into a modern tower which offers its inhabitants the most functional and environmentally sustainable work environment imaginable, while also addressing the public realm in a way that hasn’t been accomplished in many years.”
Located in the heart of New York’s famed Plaza District, 425 Park Avenue will be the first full-block office development on this historic stretch in nearly half a century. The tower will be situated along Park Avenue’s double-wide boulevard with its attractive green medians, modern art exhibits and broad sidewalks. The district is also recognized as an epicenter of architectural excellence, as exemplified by the nearby Seagram Building and Lever House, which are two of only five structures in New York City to have won AIA’s esteemed “25 Year Award.”
Foster + Partners views the project as an outstanding opportunity to contribute to the existing character of Park Avenue while also responding to the scale and datum of the boulevard and neighboring buildings. Clearly expressing the geometry of its structure, Foster + Partners’ conceptual design features a tapered steel-frame tower rising to meet three illuminated shear walls, adding to the vibrant New York City skyline. The conceptual design also calls for an elegant façade that seamlessly integrates with the innovative internal arrangement that allows for three gradated tiers of column-free floors.
Offering world-class sustainable office accommodation, Foster + Partners envisions a new tower that anticipates changing needs in the workplace with large, open spaces that encompass flexible use. Each of the three tiers – low, medium and high-rise – is defined by a landscaped terrace that would provide excellent amenity for tenants and offer panoramic views across Manhattan and Central Park. At street level, the conceptual design for 425 Park Avenue gives as much to the city as to the people that will work in it with the potential for a large civic plaza marked by significant works of art.
The conceptual design will serve as the framework for a two-year collaborative process with L&L Holding’s project team to create a fully formed architectural and construction plan for the 425 Park Avenue tower. L&L Holding anticipates the start of construction in 2015, with the new 425 Park Avenue tower to be completed by the end of 2017.