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Summit One Vanderbilt immersive experience and observatory set to open

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High-rise Construction

Summit One Vanderbilt immersive experience and observatory set to open

The project is located in the crown of One Vanderbilt.

By David Malone, Managing Editor | August 25, 2021
Summit One Exterior

Renderings courtesy SL Green

Summit One Vanderbilt, a new, innovative destination that combines views, curated multi-sensory experiences, and cutting-edge technology, is set to open on Oct. 21.

The project occupies 65,000 sf spread across four levels in the crown of the 1,401-foot-tall, KPF-designed One Vanderbilt. An all-glass enclosed elevator, dubbed Ascent, travels up the outside of the building at 1,210 feet high to provide views of New York City while Levitation, fully transparent glass sky boxes that jut out of the building, suspend guests 1,063 feet above Madison Avenue. The Summit, meanwhile, features an outdoor bar, seating areas, and the highest urban outdoor alpine meadow in the world.


Levitation at Summit One Vanderbilt


An immersive art installation, designed by Kenzo Digital, will bring a new type of storytelling to the project. The installation takes the canvas of an observation deck and elevates it into a euphoric experience. “Using materiality, lighting design, sound design, production design, and animation, this immersive experience will awaken your senses, transform your perception of New York, and reimagine your relationship to nature,” said Kenzo Digital, Artist and CEO, Kenzo Digital Immersive, in a release. “It will be the ultimate example of the democratization of art - a revelatory experience regardless of age, origin, or walk of life.”


Apres cafe interior Summit One Vanderbilt


Snøhetta designed the interior spaces as a sensory urban experience that lifts visitors into the sky. The observatory and cultural space were designed as a journey through light, sound, and art with views across all five boroughs and beyond. The project builds a series of interconnected experiences that begins in the vaulted halls of Grand Central Terminal below, with the journey from station to sky culminating in Summit One Vanderbilt.

“In addition to the exciting artistic works at The Summit, Snøhetta has created an elegant interior design that naturally guides visitors through an uplifting experience. From the spacious and calm entrance hall to the dramatic lobbies above, Snøhetta has designed a continuous yet evolving adventure,” said Craig Dykers, Founding Partner Architect of Snøhetta, in a release. “This culminates with the landscape design of one of the world’s highest gardens at the top of The Summit. Each space is sensitively considered to ensure the optimum experience within a changing dynamic as one is transported from the ground to the sky and back.”

Additionally, Summit One Vanderbilt will feature multiple bars, an all-day cafe, and food kiosks. The culinary offerings will be led by Union Square Events.


Apres cafe exterior Summit One Vanderbilt

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