After launching a competition for the redesign of 425 Park Avenue–almost across street from the future 432 Park Avenue–L&L Holdings has chosen Lord Norman Foster’s tower as the winner. Several ‘starchitects’ competed in the contest including Zaha Hadid and Rem Koolhaas, and the losing designs will be showcased from October 18th to 19th at Jazz, Lincoln Center.
The implementation of the selected design rests on a major caveat, which is the rezoning of Midtown East. If the rezoning is approved, which seems likely, the 625,000 square foot building could end up with 50% more air rights. That would give L&L a major incentive to wait until 2018 for construction, which could result in an eventual redesign.
|425 Park Avenue: Image by DBOX|
As stated, L&L intends to break ground on the tower in 2015, with completion slated for 2017. The tower is in a unique position as the developer has to maintain the steel base of the building currently at 425 Park Avenue to be able to re-build the 625,000 square feet currently on the property, a result of anachronistic zoning codes.
Foster’s design opens up the building to the pedestrian experience, and cantilevers the lower double-height office floors over an open plaza. The plaza could be used for art exhibitions, and is an excellent addition if it does come to fruition.
The tower itself is forgettable besides the three fins that will protrude along the eastern side. At only 700 feet tall, Foster’s intention to make a mark on the skyline seems ill-advised given the height of surrounding buildings and the project’s eventual 1,400 foot neighbor, 432 Park Avenue.
Still, what ultimately occurs is up in the air, as the Midtown East rezoning could definitely result in a tower substantially larger, of roughly 900,000 square feet.