L&L Holding Company, LLC, today announced that four of the world’s most acclaimed architecture firms – Foster + Partners (Lord Norman Foster), Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (Lord Richard Rogers), OMA (Rem Koolhaas) and Zaha Hadid Architects – are participating this week in the conceptual design phase of its architectural competition for a new office tower to be constructed at 425 Park Avenue in Manhattan. In April of this year, L&L Holding invited 11 of the world’s most accomplished architects to express their interest in competing for the commission to design a new tower at 425 Park Avenue. Of those invited, nine firms chose to enter the competition. After careful deliberations, L&L Holding narrowed its list to the four selected firms, each of which is led by a Pritzker Prize-winning architect with extensive international experience and proven expertise in office tower design. The architects and their teams have prepared and are presenting their conceptual designs this week for a 650,000 square foot tower that will be designed to high L.E.E.D. sustainability standards.
“We are gratified by the overwhelming response we received from several of the world’s greatest architects,” said L&L Holding Chairman and CEO David Levinson. “The genuine interest expressed by these firms further validates our conviction that 425 Park offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a renowned architect to make an indelible imprint along one of the world’s most famed office corridors.” Mr. Levinson added, “In our desire to create a manageable process, we needed to limit participation in the conceptual phase to four firms. While we could not go wrong with any of the architects, our selection of Hadid, Foster, Koolhaas and Rogers was based on a number of factors, including each architect’s rich experience in office design, as well as the diversity of styles and approach offered by the group. In addition, these architects eloquently articulated their view that 425 Park Avenue must redefine the modern office environment while also respecting and enhancing the timeless allure of the Plaza district.” Located in the heart of New York’s famed Plaza District, 425 Park Avenue will be the first full-block office development on this historic stretch in half a century. The tower will be situated along Park Avenue’s double-wide boulevard with its attractive green medians, modern art exhibits and broad sidewalks. The district is also recognized as an epicenter of architectural excellence, as exemplified by the nearby Seagram Building and Lever House, which are two of only five structures in New York City to have won the AIA’s esteemed “25 Year Award.” The architects’ concepts are being presented on July 10 and 11 to L&L Holding executives, as well as its competition director, Vishaan Chakrabarti, who is Director of the Center for Urban Real Estate at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. “Each of these architects shares L&L Holding’s conviction that this project represents an extraordinary opportunity to be at the forefront of contemporary office building design, and like the legendary Park Avenue buildings that preceded it, serve as a global standard bearer for the workplace of the future,” noted Mr. Chakrabarti. “We are excited by the thought-provoking concepts that these legendary architects have produced.” Final interviews with the architects will be conducted, as needed, in September with the final selection of an architect to be made in October. L&L Holding anticipates a two-year design and construction permitting process, which will commence in 2013, with the start of construction anticipated in 2015. L&L expects the new 425 Park Avenue tower to be completed by the end of 2017.