Four starchitects?Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, and Richard Rogers?faced off for the chance to redesign 425 Park Avenue, a rather soulless pile of brick and glass between 55th and 56th streets, into the next Seagram Building or Lever House. And the winner is?Norman Foster! The Hearst Tower architect submitted a conceptual proposal (shown above) that "features a tapered steel-frame tower rising to meet three illuminated shear walls, adding to the vibrant New York City skyline. The conceptual design also calls for an elegant façade that seamlessly integrates with the innovative internal arrangement that allows for three gradated tiers of column-free floors," according to the archibabble in a press release.
The bigger idea behind that "innovative internal arrangement" is that the workplace is changing and 425 Park Avenue needs to accommodate that. David Levinson, chairman of site developer L&L Holdings, explains to the Times that office space these days needs "places where you can have an intersection of ideas, areas of collaboration," and Foster's design includes many such common spaces. L&L plans to start building the thing in 2015 and have it ready in 2017. Better luck next time, Hadid, Rogers, and Koolhaas!
Here's a larger version of that Foster conceptual design:
· Norman Foster, Architect of Hearst Tower, Chosen for Park Avenue Site [NYT]
· 425 Park Avenue coverage [Curbed]
· Norman Foster coverage [Curbed]