This space was originally built by The William Kaufman Organization in 1972 by renowned architect Emery Roth & Sons. This initial lobby received several awards and recognitions for its innovative design. As the architects renovating this space, the standards are high; we must be sympathetic to the existing space for its unique character and transform it into something spectacular. The lobby was in dire need of an update, but we also did not want to lose the very unique individuality of the original design. In keeping with the initial design we maintained some of the avant-garde features while adding a corporate and contemporary style.
One of the major design challenges was working with the existing HVAC ducts located in the ceiling and behind the reception desk. The client insisted they remain. We had to develop innovative ways of using modern materials to successfully work around them and conceal them to some degree. We designed a decorative soffit with wood cabinetry and linear brushed aluminum fins to centralize the lighting and screen the existing HVAC ducts. A unique stretched fabric ceiling membrane was introduced to highlight the directionality of the elevator corridors and help define circulation. We also integrated all new A/V equipment to accommodate the client’s needs and closely studied a new lighting scheme to provide a welcoming environment. It was essential that the building maintain 24 hour access, so we had to phase the job accordingly in order to have the construction run smoothly from start to finish.
The elegance of the design continues with its interior finishes, including black granite marble and crystallized white glass polished stone at the lobby. The entrance features a stainless steel screen wall, aluminum wall panels, metal mesh ceiling panels, and crystallized glass slab. The delicate balance of materials and unique design brings us to an exceptional end result, which exceeded our client’s needs and makes for an extraordinary extension of the New York City street.