425 Park

In May 2012, L&L; Holding Company invited eleven world-class architects to submit Request for Qualifications. Four finalists—Foster + Partners (Lord Norman Foster), Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (Lord Richard Rogers), OMA (Rem Koolhaas), and Zaha Hadid Architects—were selected to create and present conceptual designs for 425 Park Avenue in July 2012. Some teams were asked to further refine their designs and present again in September. Foster + Partners was named the winner in October 2012. Read more >>

The 425 Park Architecture Competition—An Overview

425 Park MAS Presentation with David Levinson + Norman Foster


Foster + Partners

Height: 687 ft
Stories: 41
Floorplate: 11,200–24,400 gsf
Ceiling Height: 14–42 ft

Our aim is to create an exceptional building, both of its time and timeless, as well as being respectful of its context and celebrated Modernist neighbours—a tower that is for the City and for the people that will work in it, setting a new standard for office design and providing an enduring landmark that befits its world-famous location.

Clearly expressing the geometry of its structure, the tapered steel-frame tower rises to meet three shear walls that will be illuminated, adding to the vibrant New York City skyline. Its elegant facade seamlessly integrates with an innovative internal arrangement that allows for three gradated tiers of column-free floors. Offering world-class, sustainable office accommodation, the new building anticipates changing needs in the workplace with large, flexible open floor plates. Each of the three tiers—low, medium and high-rise—is defined by a landscaped terrace with panoramic views across Manhattan and Central Park. To maximize the Park Avenue frontage, the core is placed to the rear, where glazed stairwells reveal long views towards the East River, while at street level, there is potential for a large civic plaza with significant works of art.
— Lord Norman Foster

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Dusk shot of 425 Park Avenue, looking north Night-time view of Manhattan from across the East River Design sketch by Norman Foster Sustainability overview of the tower Ground level Low-rise amenity level Typical low-rise level Typical mid-rise level Typical high-rise level Internal breakout space on the typical amenity floor Outdoor terrace on the typical amenity floor View of the east elevation View across the upper Amenity Level towards Central Park View of Public Plaza looking south on Park Avenue Typical Office floor with a view of Central Park

Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

Height: 665 ft
Stories: 44
Floorplate: 6,000–20,300 gsf
Ceiling Height: 14.5–72.5 ft

We have created a contemporary homage to the quintessential New York skyscraper, by designing a tower that will define the next chapter in their illustrious story. Our solution acknowledges the design attributes of its neighbours on Park Avenue, but brings new qualities: honest expression; generosity; efficiency and humanity. The clear expression of the process of construction is evident from the huge 43 storey steel frame down to the smallest detail, this gives the building a human scale.

In designing sky gardens, we are reconnecting workers and the city with nature, by using different American landscape ecologies, from forest to alpine, to suit the different altitudes of each garden. These spaces also offer great views of the park and the metropolis.

A generous open space at ground level gives users and passing public a retreat from the urban bustle. The exterior glass elevators create both a dynamism and an extremely flexible interior.

It is a tower that works both at the skyline and the street line, has a unique rhythm, and sets a new architectural bench mark for both Park Avenue and the great American skyscraper.
— Lord Richard Rogers

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View of building looking south on Park Avenue Aerial view of the building and sky gardens Eastern elevation of building with glass elevators Typical high floor Sky Garden Typical podium floor Ground floor Sky gardens View of entrance to building from Park Avenue


Height: 648 ft
Stories: 38
Floorplate: 10,100–21,200 gsf
Ceiling Height: 14.5–29 ft

For Commercial Buildings, Manhattan’s zoning laws prescribe a silhouette from which there is no escape (yet): a stretched pyramid.

Our current aesthetics oscillate between nearly exhausted orthogonality and a still immature curvaceousness.

Our building is an intersection of these two observations: it proposes a stack of three cubes —the lower one a full solid block on Park Avenue, the smallest on top, rotated 45 degrees vis-a-vis the Manhattan grid, oriented beyond its mere location in a sweep from Midtown to Central Park.

The three cubes are connected by curved planes to create a subtle alternation of flat and 3 dimensional places, each reflecting sky and city in their own way.

The shape is at the same time highly artistic and highly efficient, a diagram of maximum beauty and maximum rentability, combined in a single, Brancusi-like shape. Its geometry at the same time reinforces and escapes the existing city. It resonates with each of its famous neighbors—Seagram, Lever, AT&T;, Racquet Club—yet it is emphatically futuristic.
— Rem Koolhaas

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View up Park Avenue View from Pepsi Cola Building. The building’s shifting angles echo the form of its stepped neighbors. By shifting 45 degrees towards the park, the building establishes a new relationship to the city without countering the fundamental logic of the grid. An atrium connects the ground floor and amenity level. At the office levels, platforms within the atrium provide break out spaces and reception areas. A series of operable panels transform the terrace from a winter garden to a fully open outdoor space with views to Park Avenue below. Ground Floor: Operable panels create an arcade along Park Avenue, a flexible zone that provides 425 Park with the civic openness and gravitas of its neighbors. Amenity Level: At the top of the base, an amenity floor provides an internal public gathering place for the building’s inhabitants. Typical floors 29-36 Typical floor 25 Typical floors 13-20

Zaha Hadid Architects

Height: 669 ft
Stories: 40
Floorplate: 12,000–27,400 gsf
Ceiling Height: 14–65 ft

The design challenge for 425 Park Avenue lies in producing a structure of timeless elegance, yet with a strong identity that reflects the complex and sophisticated age in which it was created and mirrors the exceptional setting in which it is placed. Our approach has been to unite the four fundamental qualities for the project — Function, Design, Culture and Value — and fuse them into a single seamless design which incorporates these characteristics in a harmonious and unified architectural concept.

With its breezy views up and down Park Avenue and breath-taking vistas of Central Park, the new building is quintessentially “New York” in its very definition. Its sleek verticality breathes the very essence of the city, while its gentle curves evoke a new dynamism of form which is both distinctly contemporary and ageless. This harmony is equally reflected in the building’s openness, flexible design and technological efficiency, providing an adaptable architectural context that allows it to accommodate its tenants’ requirements and desires.

Together, these qualities make the new 425 Park Avenue a unique landmark for New York City.
— Zaha Hadid Architects

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Aerial view, north east, of the “as-of-right” scheme. Aerial view, north east, of the “non-compliant” scheme. Conceptual painting Tower level Garden level Podium level Ground Floor Lobby Level Garden level Lobby rendering Sky lobby

About 425 Park

425 Park Avenue will be the first full-block office building built on Park Avenue in nearly 50 years. As a consequence, the project represents an extraordinary opportunity to be at the forefront of contemporary office building design, and like the legendary Park Avenue office buildings that preceded it, serve as a global standard bearer for the workplace of the future.

With approximately 620,000 gross square feet, the building will by no means be the largest office building in New York, but quite simply one of the best. Given the location, floorplates, architectural quality, and soaring Central Park views, 425 Park Avenue will be a bespoke office building­—an address spoken about in the same breath as the world’s most iconic business addresses.

In May 2012, L&L; Holding Company invited eleven world-class architects to submit Request for Qualifications. Four finalists—Foster + Partners (Lord Norman Foster), Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (Lord Richard Rogers), OMA (Rem Koolhaas) and Zaha Hadid Architects—were selected to create and present conceptual designs for 425 Park Avenue in July 2012. Some teams were asked to further refine their designs and present again in September. Foster + Partners was named the winner in October 2012.

Each team of architects was asked to create two schemes that adhere to four main characteristics:

The first scheme is an “as-of-right” scheme that per current zoning maintains 25% of the existing floor area. The second scheme is what is thought to be the building for the site regardless of current zoning restrictions.

We hope that you enjoy this exhibition of the different ideas and visions that these supremely creative and talented architecture teams conjured for the future of 425 Park. We would like to extend our gratitude to the following people without whom this project would not have been possible: Our Partner, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., Vishaan Chakrabarti, Vincent Cipolla, Jennifer Raab, Mary Ann Tighe, Omar Toro-Vaca, Michael Parley, Ed DePaola, Gardiner and Theobald, Kohn Pederson Fox Associates, Raquel Ramati, dbox, Pentagram, Rubenstein Communications and Ethan Berger and Associates.

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