425 Park Avenue: OMA’s proposal

  • 18 Oct 2012
  • by
  • Architecture News Editor's Choice
View from Pepsi Cola Building © Courtesy of

OMA has shared with us their proposal for the 425 Park Avenue competition, organized by  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

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

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

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

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

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

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: Basulto, David. "425 Park Avenue: OMA’s proposal" 18 Oct 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 31 Oct 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=283593>
  • Piotr

    My name is nice, very nice.

  • Taommy

    I wld like to jump from that executive suite

  • x

    And when the sunlight reflects off the pretty surface and blinds someone while they’re driving, they’ll get to cause a big pretty car crash.

  • conway

    kind of strange that the best view of that building is the suicide view shown in that rendering….

  • Ben McGhee

    Of all the entries I certainly like this one the least. I understand their concept, but I see a poorly executed, indeterminate structure. Sure it turns 45 degrees but I can’t imagine it doing it with less grace. To personify it, I see a timid soldier, looking down the line for approval from a superior. I’d rather see a soldier who says, screw this, I’m facing this direction.