L&L Holding Company
New York, USA
570,677 sq ft
Just two blocks away from Mies van der Rohe’s iconic Seagram Building, RSHP’s design for 425 Park Avenue is a contemporary homage to New York’s rich heritage of skyscrapers, setting a course for the next chapter in their illustrious story. Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ solution acknowledges the design attributes of its neighbours on Park Avenue, but brings new qualities: honest expression; generosity; efficiency and humanity.
Commissioned through a limited design competition, RSHP’s design offers 53,000 square metres of space, clearly expressing the process of construction in its 44 storey steel frame, which stretches 200m into the sky. But the design also brings human scale and articulation, breaking the mass of the building through the insertion of four west-facing sky gardens for the building’s users that offer perspectives over Central Park and the metropolis, as well as providing visual interest and a sense of scale for passers-by.
The sky gardens reconnect workers and the city with nature, by using different American landscape ecologies, from forest to alpine, to suit the different altitudes of each garden. A generous open space at ground level gives visitors to the building and passing members of the public a retreat from the busy urban street, with reception on the second floor and a restaurant above, overlooking the landscaped open space and the constantly-changing tableau of one of the world’s great thoroughfares.
The building is serviced from the rear, with external glass escalators adding dynamism and enabling an extremely flexible and efficient interior layout, with minimal interruption to views across office floors, and out to the city beyond. Environmental performance is optimised through the use of solar panels, natural light and ventilation systems, and the use of green roofs and natural planting.
It is a tower that works both at the skyline and street level, has a unique rhythm, and sets a new architectural bench mark for both Park Avenue and the great American skyscraper.