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Midtown Building 'Oasis' Will Get $35M Reno, String Quartet

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Park Avenue Plaza, a Fisher Brothers-owned, SOM-designed office tower between 52nd and 53rd Streets, is getting a brand new arcade. To the tune of $35 million, the new full-block walkway-slash-atrium will still be open to the public, but it will house a bunch of new features. The double-height space will have glass columns to enhance the airiness of the space, a new glass facade with "vertical glass crystals" backlit by LEDs that sense the ambient light and adjust their brightness accordingly, a new water feature for "tranquil experience," and two vine-covered green walls. Architects Janson Goldstein are also adding more seating and art installations, while removing a mezzanine to increase openness. The whole aim is to create "a serene oasis in Midtown" while letting pedestrians pass through freely and easing traffic flow. Construction will begin in early summer 2014 and last for one year. Much has been made of verdant public spaces and the impact they have on office drones workers, however small, so here's to that. And we hope the scalies in the string quartet depicted in the renderings are part of the picture, too.

· Park Avenue Plaza [official]