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425 Park Avenue: OMA's proposal

View from Pepsi Cola Building © Courtesy of OMA
View from Pepsi Cola Building © Courtesy of OMA

OMA has shared with us their proposal for the 425 Park Avenue competition, organized by New York City developer L&L Holding Co to replace the existing, ageing tower with a new state-of-the-art, LEED-certified skyscraper. The competition was awarded to Foster + Partners, as reported earlier. The competition also included Atelier Christian de Portzamparc, Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Herzog & de Meuron, KPF, Maki and Associates, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Richard Meier, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and Zaha Hadid Architects; and all the projects will be presented today at the MAS NY Summit. OMA’s project was led by partners Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas. Shohei is in charge of the NY office, where he has been researching strategies for towers in NY and other areas, including a skyscraper in Madison Park, a mixed-use project in Jersey and the  Bicentennial Tower in Mexico. More information after the break:

View from Park Avenue © Courtesy OMA
View from Park Avenue © Courtesy OMA

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.

View from Executive Office © Courtesy OMA
View from Executive Office © Courtesy OMA

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.

Urban Context © Courtesy OMA
Urban Context © Courtesy OMA

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

Street View © Courtesy OMA
Street View © Courtesy OMA

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 is emphatically futuristic.

Context: Lever House, SeagramBuilding © Courtesy OMA
Context: Lever House, SeagramBuilding © Courtesy OMA

Its conceptual model accommodates both the design competition’s request to maintain 25% of the existing building and the entirely-from-scratch scenario with equal ease.

Public Realm © Courtesy OMA
Public Realm © Courtesy OMA

Status: Competition June 2012 Client: L&L Holdings Location: New York, NY, USA Site: 425 Park Avenue, between 55th and 56th St. Program: 564,040 gsf / 52,401 m2 office tower, incorporating 25% of the existing building Tower Height: 634 ft, 37 floors (36 above grade) Site Area: 27,941 ft2 Office Areas: Base (F1-F5):22,100sf/ Mid volume (F13-F21):14,025sf/ Top volume (F29-F36): 10,070sf Partners-in-Charge: Shohei Shigematsu, Rem Koolhaas Associate-in-Charge: Jason Long Project Architect: Jake Forster Team: Ted Lin, Sandy Yum, Ahmadreza Schricker, Patrick Hobgood, Daniel Quesada Lombo, Andy Westner, Rob Daurio, Clarisa Garcia Fresco, Carla Hani, Suzan Ibrahim, Christina Argyrou, Cass Nakashima, Lisa Hollywood, Denis Bondar Structure, MEP / Services, Facade: ARUP Vertical Transportation: Edgett Williams Consulting Group Cost Estimating: Faithful & Gould Models: OMA/ Vincent de Rijk Graphic Design: MTWTF All images OMA

Cite:David Basulto. "425 Park Avenue: OMA's proposal" 18 Oct 2012. ArchDaily. Accesed . <http://www.archdaily.com/283593/425-park-avenue-omas-proposal/>