YIMBY checked in on 665 Fifth Avenue, the site of a forthcoming David Chipperfield Architects-designed headquarters for Rolex. The Midtown lot sits at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and East 53rd Street and is currently occupied by a 12-story structure that was built in the 1970s. This International Style building will be torn down to make way for the new 25-story edifice, which will feature a contemporary design of irregularly stacked boxes clad in glass.
Preparations for demolition have yet to commence. The flagship Rolex, St. John, and Lindt stores along Fifth Avenue are still open for business, and no scaffolding or construction equipment has been delivered to the Midtown property.
The main renderings and black-and-white photo of the physical model show how Chipperfield’s vision fits comfortably among the cityscape. The building’s use of setbacks evokes the traditional style of New York’s past, while its fluted transparent glass curtain wall gives it a modern touch without overt flare. Both of these features translate to an overall feeling of lightness that sets it apart from the surrounding dark glass and steel skyscrapers.
The array of vertical lines formed by the structural geometry of 665 Fifth Avenue’s envelope emphasize its verticality, as do the high ceilings of its lower floors.
The E and M trains are located directly in front of the building at the 5th Avenue-53rd Street station. The B, D, and F trains are a short walk to the southwest at Rockefeller Center.
It’s unclear when demolition will begin or when the project is expected to finish.