550 Madison Avenue

Architecture, Midtown

Rockwell Group, 550 Madison Avenue, AT&T Building

Rendering courtesy of Rockwell Group

The Olayan Group released a new batch of renderings giving us a sneak peek inside the amenity floor at 550 Madison Avenue. Designed by Rockwell Group, the seventh floor offers a mix of “hospitality-driven” spaces for tenants, including food and beverage options, lounges, shared workspaces, and fitness and wellness areas. The center of it all will be the iconic Philip Johnson-designed oculus—which greets visitors as soon as they step off the elevator on the club floor—framed by two floor-to-ceiling artworks by Dorothea Rockburne, which were commissioned in 1993 specifically for the building.

Have a look around

Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Midtown

Snøhetta, 550 Madison Avenue, AT&T Building, Olayan Group

Renderings courtesy of Snøhetta and MOARE

The privately-owned public space (POPS) on the ground floor of Philip Johnson and John Burgee’s Postmodern skyscraper at 550 Madison Avenue declined over time due to multiple alterations and was often described as being “tall, skinny, and dark.” As part of Snøhetta’s transformation of the landmark, the garden is receiving a lot of attention. In December, developer Olayan Group revealed plans to increase the public space by 50 percent while creating “a welcoming sensory retreat in the heart of East Midtown.” After being approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission last year, the open space has now received its final approval from the Department of City Planning.

More details

Architecture, Midtown

550 Madison Avenue, AT&T Building, Gensler

All renderings courtesy of Gensler

It’s been two years since developers unveiled their plans for a $300 million renovation of 550 Madison Avenue, helmed by architecture firm Snøhetta. Built in 1984 to the designs of Philip Johnson and John Burgee, the 647-foot building was the world’s first postmodern skyscraper. After several revisions, the renovation plans were approved by the LPC in February, and now, developer the Olayan Group has revealed the first renderings of the lobby. Most notably, the interior designs respect the 110-foot arched entryway and vaulted ceilings and add a window overlooking the proposed new public garden in the rear arcade.

More details ahead

Architecture, Landmarks Preservation Commission, Midtown, Starchitecture

550 Madison Avenue, AT&T BUILDING, LANDMARKS PRESERVATION COMMISION, OLAYAN, PHILLIP JOHNSON, SNØHETTA, LPC

In December, 6sqft reported that architecture firm Snøhetta had unveiled a preservationist-friendly revision to a controversial design for an updated AT&T building at 550 Madison Avenue; last month brought more details from the firm’s proposal that was submitted to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC). The most recent design is one of several revisions, each followed by controversy over being seen by preservationists as diverting too much from the building’s original design by Philip Johnson and John Burgee. Yesterday LPC approved the new preservation-friendly designs–with some modifications. The office tower is now on track to reopen in 2020.

Find out more

Architecture, Landmarks Preservation Commission, Midtown, Starchitecture

550 Madison Avenue, AT&T BUILDING, LANDMARKS PRESERVATION COMMISION, OLAYAN, PHILLIP JOHNSON, SNØHETTA, LPC

In December, 6sqft reported that architecture firm Snøhetta had unveiled a preservationist-friendly revision to a controversial design for an updated AT&T building at 550 Madison Avenue. Now you can get a look at the full details of the Certificate of Appropriateness proposal that will be presented to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) tomorrow. The latest design is one of several revisions, each followed by controversy over being seen by preservationists as diverting too much from the building’s original design by Philip Johnson and John Burgee. In addition to comparisons to the original, new designs must consider the subsequent revamp that made it the Sony building in 1994, which replaced the building’s open Madison Avenue arcade with “Sony Experience” storefronts and covered a rear public arcade with a glass roof.

Compare the new with the old

Architecture, Landmarks Preservation Commission, Midtown, Starchitecture

550 Madison, snohetta, olayan group, Philip johnson

Architecture firm Snøhetta unveiled this week a preservationist-friendly revision to a controversial design for an updated AT&T building at 550 Madison Avenue. The latest design is one of several revisions, each followed by controversy over being seen by preservationists as diverting too much from the building’s original design by Philip Johnson and John Burgee. In addition to comparisons to the original, new designs have had to consider the subsequent revamp that made it the Sony building in 1994, which replaced the building’s open Madison Avenue arcade with “Sony Experience” storefronts and covered a rear public arcade with a glass roof.

‘Hands off my Johnson’

Architecture, Landmarks Preservation Commission, Midtown

This morning the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to designate the AT&T building at 550 Madison Avenue as an individual landmark. Designed by Philip Johnson and completed in 1984, the world’s first postmodern skyscraper originally served as the AT&T headquarters. A decade later, Sony moved in and it became known as the Sony Tower. Recently, a growing roster of preservationists and architects have been urging the LPC to landmark the building after plans surfaced showing significant changes to its architecture.

So what happens now?

Landmarks Preservation Commission, Midtown

During a nearly two-hour public hearing on Tuesday, passionate preservationists, architects, and community groups testified in front of the Landmarks Preservation Commission in support of designating the postmodern skyscraper at 550 Madison Avenue as an individual landmark. Best known as the AT&T Building, the 37-story tower was designed by Philip Johnson, along with his partner John Burgee, and completed in 1984.

As postmodernism’s first skyscraper, 550 Madison has stood out for its pink-gray granite facade, arched entryway and Chippendale-inspired crown. A wide range of people on Tuesday voiced support for giving 550 Madison landmark designation, including architectural critic Paul Goldberger. In his testimony, Goldberger cited his own 1978 New York Times review of the building, before it was built, when he called the AT&T Building “a major monument” of postmodernism and “the most provocative and daring skyscraper to be proposed for New York since the Chrysler Building.”

More this way

Landmarks Preservation Commission, Midtown, Starchitecture

This morning the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to calendar the postmodern skyscraper at 550 Madison Avenue, designed by Philip Johnson and completed in 1984. The world’s first skyscraper built in a postmodern style was originally known as the AT&T Building, as the tower served as the company headquarters. Sony moved in in the 1990s, giving it the nickname of the Sony Tower.

Last year, the building sold to the Olayan Group and Chelsfield for a whopping $1.4 billion. Their resulting renovation plan, led by Snøhetta, has elicited protest from preservationists who do not want to see changes to the building’s impressive arched entryway. Now that the tower’s calendared, the developers’ $300 million renovation will eventually come up for a landmarks vote by the LPC.

See renderings of Snøhetta’s proposal

Design, History, Midtown East

AT&T Building, Robert AM Stern, Phillip Johnson

Photo of the protest courtesy of Nathan Eddy

After Olayan America and Chelsfield revealed plans last week for a $300 million renovation of the building at 550 Madison Avenue, known as the AT&T Building, criticism quickly followed. Members of the architecture community, including New York architect Robert A.M. Stern, rallied together last Friday at the base of the Philip Johnson-designed skyscraper, to protest Snøhetta’s proposal to replace the building’s base with a scalloped glass front (h/t Dezeen). Protestors held signs that read “Hands off my Johnson,” “Save the Stone,” and “Save AT&T.” Plus, a petition is currently being circulated on Change.org in an attempt to preserve Johnson’s iconic AT&T Building by having the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission officially designate it as a city landmark.

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