Snøhetta Returns to LPC with Updated Proposals to Renovate Manhattan’s Iconic 550 Madison Avenue

Aerial view of 550 Madison Avenue - New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission

Updated proposals for the renovation and redesign of 550 Madison Avenue contain exciting new details on Snøhetta’s vision for the landmarked structure. This most recent batch of documents is dated January 15, 2019, and includes a selection of new renderings, floor plans, and specifications of proposed building materials. The documents will go before the LPC for review later today.

Led by The Olayan Group with development partners RXR Realty and Chelsfield, proposals are described as “preservation-first” in an effort to restore the original intent of the site’s design.

As previously reported by YIMBY in December 2018, alterations include the replacement of portal holes that have been covered or removed during previous renovations, new ground floor windows to increase visibility from the pedestrian perspective, and efforts to restore the façade to what Johnson may have envisioned.

Existing ground floor facade at 550 Madison Avenue – Snøhetta

Proposed ground floor facade alterations at 550 Madison Avenue – Snøhetta

Proposed ground floor facade alterations at 550 Madison Avenue – Snøhetta

According to design documents, 94% of the original tower’s surface area will remain unchanged.

At the ground level, mullions on existing windows would be be replaced with new vertical bronze components and optimized clear glazing to promote the flow of natural light. Immediately below, a new painted steel and glass canopy would be installed.

An expanded outdoor plaza at the building’s east-facing elevation will increase from 4,500 square feet to 21,000 square feet of public area. Envisioned as a framework of overlapping, circular alcoves, distinct areas within the plaza include a living room, a picnic room, a hearth, and a woodland garden. Special environmental elements include a waterfall, a large tree, and surrounding landscaped areas referred to as “The Uplands.”

Above the green space, designers have proposed a new glass canopy to replace a glass roof and enclosure constructed during a 90’s-era renovation.

Outdoor plaza areas at 550 Madison – Snøhetta

Outdoor plaza areas at 550 Madison – Snøhetta

Rendering of outdoor canopy – Snøhetta

Rendering of outdoor canopy – Snøhetta

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2 Comments on "Snøhetta Returns to LPC with Updated Proposals to Renovate Manhattan’s Iconic 550 Madison Avenue"

  1. The Madison Avenue facade treatment is a distinct improvement over their previous offering. It’s both more respectful of the original design — not fussily drawing attention to itself — and more attractive in a simple clean way. The outdoor plaza looks potentially delightful and could be a generous amenity for the neighborhood.

  2. Pardon me for using your space:
    But I have been drinking wine out of a box.

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