Snøhetta

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

condos, Construction Update, New Developments, Upper West Side 

Rendering courtesy of Binyan Studios/Snøhetta

Less than two months after rejecting a challenge against the tallest tower planned for the Upper West Side, the Department of Buildings has decided to pull permits for Extell Development’s 775-foot tower at 50 West 66th Street, as NY1 first reported. In December, opponents argued that the Snøhetta-designed structure was misusing structural voids—where a building’s mechanical equipment is stored—to add height without increasing square footage. They said the 160-foot mechanical spaces were designed not out of necessity, but presumably to boost the overall height of the apartments—and their price tags. Now, the DOB has made a surprise reversal, ruling that these spaces do not meet the current standards of the New York City Zoning Resolution. 

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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’

condos, New Developments, Policy, Upper West Side 

City rejects bid to stop tallest Upper West Side tower

By Chava Gourarie, Tue, December 4, 2018

Courtesy of Binyan Studios/ Snøhetta

The Department of Buildings this week rejected a challenge against the tallest tower planned for the Upper West Side, as first reported by Crain’s. Community groups argued that the design of Extell Development’s 775-foot condominium tower at 50 West 66th Street violated the city’s building code, but the department overruled those objections. Read more

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?

Construction Update, New Developments, Upper West Side 

Rendering via Snohetta / Binyan Studios; construction photo via CityRealty

With the neighboring Jewish Guild for the Blind officially demolished, construction has now begun on Extell Development’s skyscraper at 50 West 66th Street. Designed by Snøhetta, the mixed-use skyscraper is set to rise 775 feet, making it the tallest building on the Upper West Side. The 69-story tower will feature a facade of excavations, that are meant to evoke the “chiseled stone of Manhattan’s geologic legacy,” according to the architects. As CityRealty reported, the new tower will sit next to some of the borough’s most illustrious buildings, including 15 Central Park West and The Century.

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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

condos, Design, New Developments, Starchitecture, Upper West Side 

snohetta, 50 west 66th street, upper west side

Rendering of 50 West 66th Street courtesy of Binyan Studios/ Snøhetta

Of-the-moment firm Snøhetta has revealed their design for a 775-foot condominium tower at 50 West 66th Street, set to be the tallest on the Upper West Side (h/t Wallpaper) The Extell-developed building will feature 127 units and a series of “sculptural excavations” that the architects say are “evocative of the chiseled stone of Manhattan’s geologic legacy.” On the lower levels, the tower will be clad in textured limestone with bronze window frames; its narrower upper portion will have a glassy facade and chamfered corners that create a series of open-air loggias.

More renderings and details

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