Snøhetta has revealed renderings of its design for the public spaces surrounding 550 Madison Avenue in Midtown East, Manhattan. The new garden will increase the plaza’s scope to more than 21,000 square feet with the addition of a café, planters, seating, and public bathrooms. The iconic Philip Johnson-designed commercial tower is currently undergoing a major renovation designed by Gensler for a consortium of developers including The Olayan Group, RXR Realty, and Chelsfield.
The space is partially enclosed by an elegant slanted roof comprised mostly of glass to promote the flow of natural light into the garden.
“We’re thrilled to be a part of re-envisioning the future of this historic site, by imagining a precedent for New York’s changing demands on privately owned public spaces,” said Michelle Delk, partner and director of landscape architecture at Snøhetta. “A contrast to the urbanity of midtown, this new garden complements the adjacent tower while drawing upon the vibrancy of the neighborhood and the natural history of the region, offering visitors an immersive respite in the city.”
Much of the space will have a diverse assortment of plants including annuals, perennials, and evergreens that thrive in the Northeastern climate. Approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission earlier this year, the open space is currently under its final review with the Department of City Planning.
The entire project is expected to debut next year as a LEED Platinum-certified structure.