Demolition for New Rolex Headquarters Continues at 665 Fifth Avenue in Midtown, Manhattan

The former shorter iteration of 665 Fifth Avenue. Designed by David Chipperfield Architects

Demolition is progressing on Rolex’s old 12-story International Style headquarters at 665 Fifth Avenue in Midtown to make way for a 25-story replacement. Designed by David Chipperfield Architects and developed by Rolex Realty Company, the new structure will feature a modern glass curtain wall and yield office and retail space for the iconic watchmaker. Titan Industrial SVC Corp. is the general contractor in charge of demolition at the property, which is located at the corner of Fifth Avenue and East 53rd Street.

Since our last update in early April, demolition preparations were just getting underway at the site, with a portion of the windows boarded up and scaffolding assembly more than halfway complete. Work has proceeded steadily since then, and the superstructure is now fully enshrouded in scaffolding and black netting and razed about one-third of the way down. A construction elevator is attached to the southern end of the western elevation to aid in interior demolition.

665 Fifth Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

665 Fifth Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

665 Fifth Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

665 Fifth Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

665 Fifth Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

665 Fifth Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

Renderings show the new building composed of a stack of cubic volumes clad in an eye-catching envelope of pleated glass paneling. Four staggered setbacks will make way for landscaped terraces overlooking Fifth Avenue and the surrounding Midtown neighborhood. The new Rolex flagship store will occupy the ground floor. To the south of the retail frontage is the office entrance and a pair of escalators leading to a three-story atrium. At the very top of the structure is a double-height space that appears to feature a large spherical sculpture suspended from the ceiling.

Rendering by David Chipperfield Architects

A psychical model of 665 Fifth Avenue is shown below, providing context of the building’s position in the neighborhood.

Rendering by David Chipperfield Architects

665 Fifth Avenue sits directly across from the 5th Avenue-53rd Street subway station, serviced by the E and M trains. Also within walking distance is the Rockefeller Center station, serviced by the B, D, F, and M trains.

No official completion date for 665 Fifth Avenue has been announced, though sometime in late 2024 is likely.

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14 Comments on "Demolition for New Rolex Headquarters Continues at 665 Fifth Avenue in Midtown, Manhattan"

  1. David : Sent From Heaven. | November 26, 2022 at 8:22 am | Reply

    All pleated glass look very nice facade, as showing on the model is beautiful to stay with neighborhood. And double-height space at the very top appropriated with the ground floor, expected meeting design in the time going on completion date: Thanks to Michael Young.

  2. Beyond Rolex getting a new “crystal face”, what is the other building under wrap with netting and scaffolding just up the street?

    Is it getting a “nip and tuck” renovation or is it being demo’d like the Rolex building?🤫

  3. Speaking of other buildings getting renovated. The rendering of the new Rolex building does not reflect the new revisions on 666 5th Ave (now referred to at 660 Fifth Avenue)

    • Maybe it’s just an old rendering and the only one Rolex published. Wouldn’t want to focus the attention on another different building

  4. This once again proves that there is a demand for new office space in New York City and that New York City is NOT dead, unlike what the critics and a particular Yimby follower and commentary named Stanley stubbornly believes is true…

  5. David of Flushing | November 26, 2022 at 3:37 pm | Reply

    I was expecting a large facade clock.

  6. Some ‘glass boxes’ are better than is this one.

  7. This doesn’t “prove” anything about demand. It just shows some stupid landlord is borrowing money at record high rates to build an office building no one will want to rent because they’re all WTF.

    The original rolex building was very good-lucking, while this is another Mies van der Rohe knock-off from the 60’s. Park and Sixth Avenues are full of this crap, even the new ones.

    • WTF? What is “WTF”? And this DOES continue to “prove” demand. If “WTF” you mean working from home, just know most employers hate it, and so many have ordered them back to the office. Finally: NOBODY would knowingly
      invest $millions in sure-loss venture.

  8. this looks just like the new museum downtown on the bowery.

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